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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, August 21, 2013

Ethics of Our Fathers Chapter 1 Mishna 10: Love Work and Stay away from that Tempting Job from the King

"Shemayah and Avtalyon received the oral tradition from the preceding. Shemayah said; 'Love work; hate the holding of public office; and do not be intimate with the ruling authorities"

Rav Ovadiah Bartenura tells us that even if one makes enough money for livelihood, they should continue to work and not remain idle. The reason is that idleness leads to boredom and boredom will lead a person to do things that they shouldn't. As the old adage goes, busy people stay out of trouble.

Another reason that one should love work is that the more one does it, the easier it becomes. This will also lead a person to continue to do what he loves and he can teach that to others and help them as well.

Even if one has to work they should not hold public office. Why not? If after all, a person had the ability by being in the public limelight, then why should it be looked down upon? The reason is that when one is "out there" and everyone sees them in public, so to speak, they then have to be extra careful in anything they do. It is very easy to say the wrong thing or not do what is expected of themselves and cause a chilul Hashem (desecration of G-d's name.

This leads to the last part of the Mishna that one should not be close with the ruling authorities. The reason Rabbenu Yonah tells us is because if we are busy working hard for the king we will G-d forbid throw off the yoke of our obligation to serve the King of Kings whereby we will not perform mitzvos properly. A person will always be afraid and worry that they will not serve the king properly.

This is will lead them to work even harder to please the king which will take its toll on the family and spiritual development. In the end, they won't be able to serve the king properly which will cause them to eventually lose their job and everything they have.

Working for the king can have tremendous benefits and give a person prestige and power. At the same time, the closer one is to the king, the more chance they could get burned as well. Not only that, they could abuse power and be outwardly cruel to their friends to win favor with the king!