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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.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The 48 ways to Acquire Torah: Minimizing Speech

The next of the 48 ways of acquiring Torah is to minimize speech. The Mishna does not say do not speak, it says to minimize speech. This means that when we speak, make it meaningful. Don't waste your time on things that don't matter or speak derogatory things about others especially when we are learning.

We have seen previously in Pirke Avos that if one is walking on the way learning and stops learning  and says what a nice tree or nice furrow (or something else he says wasting time from learning) it is as if he is obligated with death. (Pirke Avos Chapter 3 Mishna 7). According to some commentaries this means even if he praises G-d's creation, it is as if he has forfeited his life.

We could look at this and say this is different because it shows the importance of Torah learning and wasting time while learning. We could also see this as a general idea of not speaking when I don't need to all the more so when I am learning Torah!

The Chofetz Chaim wrote a book called Shemiras HaLashon, guarding our speech. He didn't say it is forbidden to speak, but how we are allowed to speak. The Torah praises action more than speech, as we say, talk is cheap, let's see some action!

Another message from this character trait is that there is nothing better than being quiet. Better not to answer when something is said if you will not be able to control what you have to say. Even if you do have to say something, the idea is to minimize it as much as possible.

The reason is that the more one speaks, the more careful one must be since there are so many halachos about proper speech, one may make a mistake and say something they are not allowed to say. The problem is that the media promulgates the idea of saying whatever you want, when you want...Here the message is very different.