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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.
Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 1 Mishna 9: Be Careful what you say

"Shimon ben Shetach said, Examine the witnesses thoroughly; be careful with your words, but through them they learn to tell lies"

The first part of the mishnah tells us that the judges have to check and recheck the statements of the witnesses carefully so that they can make a proper decision. Rabbenu Yonah tells us that the more interrogation of the witnesses, the more likely you will find out what really happened in the case.
Quite possibly this could also lead to finding out that one of the witnesses is lying and that would clarify matters as well.

The next part of the mishna tells us that when the witnesses are interrogated the judges will understand where the judgment is going, they will learn how to lie so that they will be found meritorious. This means that even though the judges are doing their job through the questions they ask to get to the heart of the matter, it may end working against them as people may learn from this and end up lying!

This is truly an amazing idea because at the end of the day, the judges are there to evaluate information to reach a conclusion of who is right and who is wrong. The problem the mishna tells us is that this may in fact teach others their method of questioning and people could learn how to lie because of it.

This is a lesson for all of us showing that we must be careful at all times with what we say. When we do speak, we should be clear and not mislead others and to the best of our ability, not let others take our words and manipulate them for their own selfish purposes. Even if we are doing the right thing and helping others, how careful we must be when articulating our ideas!