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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.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

48 Ways to Acquire Torah: Claiming no Credit for One's Self

The next of the 48 ways to acquire Torah is claiming no credit for one's self. This means that if I have intelligence, a good job.. I shouldn't think that everything was done through the work of my hands, that there is someone (or being) that is helping me along the way.

Unfortunately we live in the "me" generation and everything I do is based on the work of my hands. I even heard someone say that I have become who I am despite who my parents are. That almost sounds like that they pulled themselves out of their mother's womb alone. "Why should I give any credibility to my parents? I did everything myself!"

Can it really be that as a baby, they clothed themselves, fed themselves...worked to bring in money to the house? How arrogant can a person be to think such a thing? This is the generation that we live in.

On the other hand, if I have worked very hard, got good grades, went to a good college and then found a good job, why do I have to thank G-d for that? I worked hard for it and now I am seeing the work of my own hands.

If we look at the Shemoneh Esrei (silent meditation), the first paragraph after the first three, we pray for knowledge. The obvious question is if I don't pray for it, does that mean I will be a dummy?  We pray that G-d shine his goodness on us that He should give us knowledge, understanding...It is through G-d's will that we receive these things.

Yes, I have to put my best forward and work hard but at the end of the day, it is G-d that helps and makes it all happen. If I don't have that help, then all that effort doesn't really seem to matter and it won't help.

I have to learn to be humble and thankful for everything I have. Based on my own merits, I don't deserve it but G-d helps and continues to help us on a daily basis. We are allowed to be happy about our accomplishments but we have to remember that we are not allowed to step over people and think that we are so great.

In reality, as the Mishna in Pirke Avos tells us, if you have wisdom don't think you are so great because this is what you were created to do. You learned Torah, you have wisdom, it has changed your life and you think you have the right to be arrogant and think you are G-d's gift to the world? The Mishna tells us not to think that because that is what you were created to do in the first place!

No matter what success we may have, the Torah tells us that we shouldn't forget G-d in the process and think that we have done everything ourselves!