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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.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The 48 ways to Acquire Torah: Run away from Honor

The next of the 48 ways to acquire Torah is to run away from honor. What is the problem with getting a little bit of honor? What is the danger that the Mishna here is telling us about?

Honor is something that has the potential to ruin a person. The reason is that when a person is honored, even if he deserves to be, it can cause that individual to think that he is better than he is. Not only that, they may think they are so great, that they look down upon others.

The more a person is honored, the more this feeds into their mindset that they are really greater than they are. Everyone compliments them, respects them, wants to be friends with creates a false illusion in many ways.

The Mishna earlier states that a person has to know their place. In terms of learning Torah, if a person learned a lot of Torah, they shouldn't think they are so great because that is what they are created for in the first place! Even if they have learned a lot of Torah, does that give the person the right to mistreat others or look down upon them?

Honor can build a person's self-esteem for hard work that they have done during their lifetime. At the same time, it can "build" them up so much as individuals that they don't listen to others and think they are better than others.

Who is considered a talmid chacham (a rabbinic scholar)? Someone who listens to people even if they are on a lower level than them and someone who is always talmid (student) and wants to gain knowledge from others regardless of what spiritual level that person may be on.

Honor is one of those character traits that the more a person receives, the more they want and desire it. That is why the Mishna states here that one should distance themselves from it.