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Rabbi Chaim Coffman
Rabbi Coffman has helped people from all across the spectrum to prepare themselves properly for Orthodox Conversion to Judaism. His students admire his vast knowledge and appreciate his warm, personal attention and endearing sense of humor.
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Welcome to Rabbi Chaim Coffman's Blog!

I would like to thank you for visiting my blog, Beyond Orthodox Conversion to Judaism.

The conversion process can be a lengthy and daunting one to say the least and I want you to know that I am here to help you through it.

I have been teaching newcomers to Judaism for over a decade and over the last few years I have seen that conversion candidates really lack the support and knowledge they need to navigate the conversion process and successfully integrate into the Orthodox Jewish community.

I created my mentorship program in order to help make this whole experience as smooth and as painless as possible! (Can't do much about the growing pains, though ;)

Feel free to get to know me a little through the posts on my blog and visit the mentorship and syllabus page if you are interested in possible joining us.

I sincerely wish you all the best in your search for truth and spiritual growth.

Looking forward to meeting you,
Chaim Coffman

My Rebbe, Rav Moshe Sternbuch

In case you were wondering why I have all of these articles written by Rav Moshe Sternbuch, he is my Rebbe, and one of the gedolei hador (greatest Rabbis of our generation).

Rav Sternbuch fully endorses me and supports my mentorship program.

He is the address for all of my halachic or hashkafic (practical and philosophical) questions that I or my students may have.

The articles are based on his weekly talks on the Torah portion that the Rav gives in Jerusalem in his kollel. As a member of the kollel I get first dibbs on the photocopies and I type them up for my blog so you can all benefit from the Rav's erudition and insight.
Thursday, February 4, 2016

Lending with Interest to a Jew, Don't Do it!

This weeks Torah portion of Mishpatim has the most amount of laws of any portion in the Torah. Many of the laws have to do with damages and what a person owes someone else if they cause damage to their property or to their bodies or both. The Torah also tells us that you are not allowed to lend money to a Jew with interest. (Exodus 22:24) What is the rationale behind this?

The idea is that if a Jew is in need of money you certainly lend him if you are able to but you can't make him pay more than for what he borrowed. This does't make any sense because the way of the world is that if I lend you money and I can't use my money why should I lose out because my money isn't be used. I absolutely have the right to charge interest because I am "losing out" by lending it out!

The Torah tells us here that when it comes to our own people (and who doesn't look out for their own, right?) we have to help them in any way possible. This is an incredible way to behave and work on our character development by giving something to others and receiving no benefit except for the mitzvah itself! This is another instance where the Torah goes against the norm of the world!

Imagine what happens when this person helps his fellow Jew without any compensation what merit they get! You can't even remind him of it! The list goes on and on to the extent we can't embarrass anyone about this! What is the point of all this?

G-d gave us his Torah to help us reach the highest spiritual level that we can even if it defies logic and doesn't make any sense. After all, if He created the world and everything in it, He must know what He is doing right? How am I an a small piece of cosmic dust supposed to understand and fathom us? The fact that we understand anything in Torah is nothing short of miraculous!

This law and the laws of damages in general show us beyond the shadow of a doubt how different we are from the nations. The purpose of laws for the nations is that there should be order and not chaos in the world. Imagine a world without laws how much more chaotic the world would look? What are the purpose of the laws of the Torah?

Our laws are there not so there will be order per se but to change us and develop us into the great people that we can become! It is to help us reach our true potential that G-d designed them for us regardless of whether we understand them to the highest level or not!

This is our ultimate goal in life which we strive for on a regular basis. Sometimes we are more successful sometimes less but at the end of the day the question is how much we tried and the effort we made. This is what G-d wants to see from us!