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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, March 3, 2016

Parshas Vayakhel: Don't try and Take what does not Belong to You!

"Moshe assembled he entire assembly of the children of Israel and said to them 'These are the tings that Hashem commanded to do them. On six days work may be done but the seventh day shall be holy for you, a day of complete rest for Hashem whoever does work on it shall be put to death" (Exodus 35:1-3)

The word תעשה (te'aseh) is written with the vowel tzeiri (like an ay sound) instead with a patach which an ahhh sound. Rav Moshe Sternbuch Shlit'a in his work Chochmah V'Da'as explains that G-d decides how much a person is going to make for the sake of his livelihood and regardless of what they do, they will only make that amount that G-d wants them to. Also, the famous Maggid from Kelm says that it is not fitting to say "be'ezrat Hashem" (with the help of G-d) because G-d does not just help but rather we should say "birtzos Hashem" with the desire of G-d. The reason is because G-d wants us to be successful and we are only His messengers fulfilling His desires.

Rav Sternbuch then brings in an idea he heard from Rav Elchanon Wasserman may his blood be avenged to explain this idea. The foundation of belief in G-d Rav Wasserman explained is that one is not allowed to try and take what does not rightfully belong to them in this world. This means that a person is allotted a certain amount of money that they will make and regardless if they work more, at the end of the day they will end up with what G-d decided that they should have.

This means that even if they work many hours overtime thinking they will make more money, the truth is that if they are destined to make less then G-d will send them difficulties to offset that. Whether it is with doctor's bills or appliances need fixing, they will cause a person to lose out and get exactly what G-d had allocated for them. This is truly amazing if we think about it.

This means that although I have to put my best foot forward when it comes to making a living, G-d reassures us that no matter we do and how hard we work we will get exactly what He wanted us to have in the first place. Therefore, a person should pray like he needs to, keep the mitzvos as he should and not do anything that will cause him to transgress while trying to make more of a livelihood since he will only get what he deserves.

Practically speaking livelihood is a decree from G-d and if He wants you to be successful you will be and if not not. This means that no matter what you do, if G-d doesn't give you the blessing you will in fact struggle. This does not mean we don't have to seek advice from others and we have to do everything in our power to succeed but we also have to realize that there is a limit. We also need to find time to study and learn while setting out on this endeavor.

We should really try and maximize the amount of time we learn and realize that everything comes from G-d. At the same time we have to be realistic in our goals for livelihood and put our best foot forward. This is not always easy but if G-d sees that we are sincere and trying to do His will, He most certainly will help and make you successful!

Shabbat Shalom