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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.
Monday, May 13, 2013

The 48 ways to Acquire Torah: Learning in order to Practice

The next of the 48 ways to acquire Torah is learning in order to practice. The purpose of what we learn is implementation. The acquisition of knowledge for knowledge sake but having no repercussions in my life is not Torah.

Learning Torah is about making myself a better person. Refining my character traits, making my mind sharper, helping me with my interpersonal skills and developing my connection to G-d.

Everybody has the ability to acquire knowledge in Torah but as we say everyday in the paragraph before we reach the Shema, we must learn, teach and give over that knowledge to others. The question is what happens if a person learns Torah for the sake of acquiring wisdom: is this an aspect of Torah?

In many ways we would say that this is not the case. In Torah, a person can acquire wisdom. The question is does this change a person? Does it make him want to do more mitzvos, help others or give charity? If the answer is no to these questions then what is a person learning Torah for?

On the other hand, there is a teaching that if I learn not for the sake of learning or for ulterior motives, then it can lead me to learn for the sake of heaven. This is true but that is not the standard we are looking to emulate.

We want to learn to help motivate ourselves to help others and work on character development. The most important thing is to do! We can't develop ourselves if we take this knowledge and leave it at that. It must be internalized and given over to others as well to help them in all their spiritual endeavors!

Everything we learn in Torah helps us in implementing that teaching. For example, if we learn about the laws of Shabbos, festivals, endears these things more to us. The knowledge itself gives us the information and shows the importance of that subject. This will lead to a more profound things that will expand what we know and make that mitzvah more beloved to us.