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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 2, 2013

48 Ways to Acquire Torah

As we count the days of Sefira as we approach the holiday of Shavuos, the Mishnah in Pirke Avos (Ethics of our Fathers) Chapter 6 Mishna 5 tells us "Torah is greater than the Priesthood and from Kingship since Kingship is acquired with 30 attributes, the Priesthood is acquired with 24 attributes and the Torah is acquired with 48 ways."

Since we count 49 days until Shavuos and there are 48 ways to acquire the Torah, there is a custom to study one each day and try and think about it a little bit to see what we can learn from it and how to integrate it into our lives.

Today's character trait is humility. How does one approach the character trait of humility? How do we know what true humility is?\

According to some commentaries, humility means that I should not think that I am greater than I am. This means that I have to know who I am (honestly) and even if I know a lot of Torah, I am not allowed to think that I am so great because of what I know since this is what I was commanded to do in the first place!

True humility means that a person regardless of their knowledge or status in society, should be humble and thank G-d for all that he has been given. On the other hand, a person should not think that their actions don't matter and they are so lowly that they are like a small piece of insignificant piece of cosmic dust either!

We have to know who we are (the good and the bad that is inside of us) but realize the bigger picture as well.  We have to realize that there are people that are smarter than us, more successful than us but we have to strive and be the best that we can be.

Humility is to realize my place in this world and realize that I will not know or understand everything. I have to know my place in this world!

I had the merit to take my rebbe, HaRav Ha'Gaon Rav Moshe Sternbuch, the Raavad (Head of the Beis Din) of the Eidah Ha'Chareidis) once a week for 5 years to the beis din. Once as we were en route, I had asked him a question and after asking the question, the Rav told me that he had difficulties on both sides of the question, wasn't sure and for himself was stringent in a certain situation.

I asked him the question again and again, received the same answer. This time, though he told me better to say "I don't know" to an question rather than give an answer that wasn't true. As I pestered him about this question a few minutes later, he told me to say in his name that "Moshe Sternbuch said that 'I don't know'"

This to me was a tremendous lesson. As great as a person is, no matter what they know or how much they know, there are still things we don't know and we have to be big enough to admit that rather than give an answer that may not be truthful.

This is true humility.