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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.
Saturday, April 13, 2013

48 Ways to Acquire Torah - Minimizing laughter

The next of the 48 ways of acquiring Torah is minimizing laughter. Although laughter is not blacklisted it should be used in small and careful measures. It is brought down that the great Amora Rabbba would say a joke before beginning his class. Even though one should minimize laughter, it can be used practically and effectively to make a point.

The problem is that laughter here can lead to all kings of disastrous things and we certainly can get burned by it. Everyone likes a good joke but sometimes we don't know when to stop and we can end up hurting someone.

 Laughter also can be looked as a sign of maturity because it demonstrates a sense of proportion about what is truly important.  We have to be able to look at things in context and not to get overly emotional about our day-to-day concerns. Laughing can lighten a situation and give us a different perspective on things.
 Laughter also helps to release tension and gets rid of gloom, aggravation and depression. Today we are beset by so many things like the economy, war...that the stress has affected people negatively so laughter fills a void and helps relieves the tension.
On the other hand, laughter is dangerous and destructive. A person has to learn to laugh with people and not at them. If we laugh at someone or ridicule them, we hurt and embarrass them. Don't laugh at another person's worries. They may not see things your way or in the same perspective.
There are also types of laughter like cynicism, sarcasm or a nervous laugh which doesn't make others feel good either. We live in a world of cynics and making others the butt of our jokes. This is problematic because we desensitize ourselves to things that are important and this causes us not to take things seriously.