Blog Archive

About Me

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.
View my complete profile


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: Jews are Responsible for One Another!!!

"He called Moshe and Hashem spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel and say to them 'When a man among you  brings an offering to Hashem from animals from the cattle from the flock shall you bring your offering'". (Leviticus 1:1-2)

Why is the word you here used in the plural? Rav Moshe Sternbuch Shlit'a in Ta'am V'Da'as explains that the you here represents all the Jewish people. That means that even though the Jewish people are spread out over the world, nonetheless when one Jew is in pain it is as if the entire nation feels it. After all, when someone G-d forbids go missing or someone is sick, the entire Jewish nation rallies around and learns for them, prays for them...

It works the other way as well unfortunately if G-d forbid a Jew transgresses or makes a desecration of G-d's name then the entire Jewish nation is at risk for repercussions! We see that by the story of Purim where Haman's anger is not just vetted out against Mordechai but rather the entire Jewish people Haman wants to eradicate! How careful we must be as G-d's ambassadors as we are viewed by the outside world. Even the slightest thing we may do could cause a desecration of G-d's name.

Here is a true story unfortunately that will illustrate this point. There was an orthodox Jew that sold merchandise which wasn't as advertised. A woman bought some merchandise and after washing it once, some of the designs came off. Upset she went back to where she bought it and complained to the owner. What transpired next is horrific!

The woman says you advertised this as something that it is not. How could you as an orthodox Jew mislead other people? The Jew answered, "who told you to put orthodox Jews on such a high pedestal?" Obviously this is the wrong answer to give someone especially if you are trying to bring them closer to Torah? (pun intended!)

What will this woman now think about orthodox Jews? Probably nothing very nice and I am sure she will be fuming at what has transpired. Therefore whenever we do something in public how careful we must be!! Many people will not look at this as an isolated incident but they could then condemn the entire group. Unfortunately many make the mistake and lump a whole group together based on a few people's actions.

Normally we call that racism but in this case the Jewish people are all intertwined. This is why this is so important. A Jewish leader whether they are a layman or a rabbi have to be even more careful in a public setting of how they act and carry themselves. We certainly don't want to lose our composure because then when others see that this "rabbi" did this, they will say "well if he can do it why can't I?" This is called a desecration of G-d's name which the Rambam tells us in the laws of repentance that a person has to repent sincerely for what they have done, go through Yom Kippur, suffer in this world and then die, and only after that do they get atonement.

Shabbat Shalom