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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, May 7, 2013

The 48 Ways to Acquire Torah: Judging a Person Favorably

The next of the 48 ways to Acquire Torah is judging a person favorably. This is talking about the average person who performs mitzvos and transgresses. When they are in a situation that one could judge their action either one, as long as they are not a habitual sinner, there is an obligation to judge them favorably. Why should this be so?

The average person deserves the benefit of the doubt. We all make mistakes but in a case where it could go either way, we should try as much as possible to judge the person favorably. After all, if we look at people in a favorable way, won't others look at us the same way?

At the same time, the more we look at others favorably, G-d will also look at us favorably. It is very easy to see the negative attributes of people and condemn for past things that they have done. The truly great people understand that we have our good days, bad days and that we are very much human.

People who look at others favorably in questionable situations doesn't make believe that what is happening doesn't exist and that they are naive. It means that they are positive people who want to look at others positively without being overly negative.

If on the other hand, we are talking about a habitual sinner who doesn't care about what they do or about others and they are in a questionable situation, there is no obligation to see what they have done in a positive manner. The reason is because they have spent their lives doing things that are forbidden and it is most likely what they are doing now is as well.

Since they have a track record for such things, my obligation to judge them favorably disappears. Although this may be a negative thing, nonetheless the direction that they are going in is a statement of their life and therefore does not warrant for my positive outlook!