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Blog Archive

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, April 4, 2013

The 48 Ways to Acquire Torah: Studying under Torah Scholars

Next on the list of the 48 ways to acquire Torah is learning from Torah scholars. One of the most important aspects of being a rabbi is not just passing the requisite exams to become a rabbi but having a mentor, a rav that one has learned from. Learning from a great rabbinic scholar is not something that may take a few days, is something that one accumulates over time.

This is why learning from a Torah scholar is even greater than learning itself because here you are understanding how to put the knowledge that one has acquired into practice. This is why it is so important to learn from someone that not only has the knowledge but the practical experience as well.

This also helps us understand how we look at our rabbinic authorities today. We have to evaluate the scope of what the Torah scholar has learned but who that person learned under is of crucial importance. The person one learns from must be exemplary in his scope of Torah knowledge but also must be impeccable with character development.

Torah is meant to change a person. A person does not just acquire great amounts of knowledge without it changing the person. If a person learns lots of Torah but it does not affect his character development, then the Torah one learns is nothing more than mental gymnastics.

As the Talmud tells us, one must look at his Rabbi as no less than an angel. If a person cannot or there is flawed character within that person, then don't learn Torah from them. They are perpetuating a great tradition, passed down generation to generation and if there are noticeable flaws, then one must be very careful!!

Learning from a Torah scholar makes a person complete because they are able to use what they learned under proper guidance to make that person complete. As the Mishna in Pirke Avos tells us, "Acquire for yourself a Rabbi." According to one opinion, this means that even if it costs you money, you should have a rabbi as a mentor to guide you to give you the best chance to reach your true potential!