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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 17, 2016

Parshas Vayikra: But I only did it by Accident?

"Hashem spoke to Moshe saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel saying 'When a person will sin unintentionally from among all the commandments of Hashem that may not be done, and he commits one of them" (Leviticus 4:1)

Here the Torah tells us a person that sins unintentionally has to bring a sin offering. Why should someone have to bring an offering if what they had done is not intentional? Although they were not careful, does that obligate them to bring a sacrifice?

If we look a little bit deeper we can understand that even by doing something by accident is akin to a rebellion against G-d. Although they did it by accident they still transgressed and should have been more careful. The Vilna Gaon learns that it is only possible to do transgress the Torah by accident if they had not done sinned on purpose. What an amazing statement!

This is what it means to transgress something by accident that it wouldn't have been possible if a previous transgression had not been done on purpose! They are therefore responsible and punished albeit on a lower level but nonetheless they are taken to task for what they have done since they have become a receptacle for sin.

We should take this to heart and remember that we all make mistakes but there is the miracle of teshuva (repentance) that a person can do. We can't live in the past and beat ourselves up for what we have done because we will have no future if we do. We won't be able to function properly because we are too busy feeling guilty for our previous actions!!

If we transgress something by accident on shabbos for example we should increase our awareness of shabbos by learning the laws more thoroughly...and showing its importance. We use shabbos here as an example but it could refer to any mitzvah that we transgress by accident. The more we learn the laws we are supposed to keep and internalize their message, the less likely we are to be lax in their observance and not come to transgress them by accident!

That would mean that we have to know everything about everything! Yes that may be true and a tremendous task but that doesn't mean we don't have to do this! We have to strive for excellence in everything we do and live the Torah we hold so precious to us!

This is easier said than done but we have to start somewhere! We need to focus on the things that we do every day especially the laws of blessings and shabbos. There are numerous things that we have to know and the more we learn about them the more we will keep them!

May G-d give us the strength to keep His Torah and love them and want to keep them even more.