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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.
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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, January 21, 2010

Is it really true I can get through the conversion process without a mentor?

No! This doesn't mean that anyone is a dummy or doesn't have any brain capacity. Even if a person has all the "book" knowledge, they still need someone to guide them through the process and make the book knowledge come to reality!

This person must be qualified and should have greater people than him/herself to ask questions to when they are stuck or are not sure. The Mishna in Pirke Avos Chapter 6:Mishna 6 discusses the 48 ways one can acquire Torah. One of those ways is to "Know one's place."

Rabbeinu Yona states that knowing one's place means not sitting in someone's seat if that person is greater than you in Torah.The Chasam Sofer in his commentary states that a student should no do something without first speaking it out with his rebbe who will be able to guide him in the right path.

This means that if someone has a question about a certain action, thought, idea and is not sure, better to ask someone greater than you to get clarity. A student could be someone who has been learning for many years and has a question he can't answer.

Don't make the mistake, just because someone is a rabbi means that he has all the answers and never has to get another opinion.

Rav Moshe Sternbuch Shlita once told me better to say you don't know an answer to a question than possibly giving a wrong answer or someone bad advice.


Anonymous said...

So when your looking for a Rabbi to mentor you, he must have a Rebbe to go and ask questions. If he doesn't then it is a clue maybe he is not the right mentor for the job!!!!!!