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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, January 23, 2014

Ethic of our Fathers: Chapter 2 MIshna 13: A good Heat is Inclusive of many good Character Traits

"He (Rabbi Yochan ben Zakkai) said to them: 'Go and see what is the best quality to which a man should cling. Rabbi Eliezer said, 'A good eye' (generosity); Rabbi Yehoshua said, 'A good friend' (friendliness); Rabbi Yosi said, 'A good neighbor' (goodwill); Rabbi Shimon said, 'One who considers the probably consequences (foresight); Rabbi Elazar said, 'A good heart' (unselfishness); He said to them, I prefer what Elazar ben Arach has said to what you have said, because in his words yours are included"

If we analyze this Mishna we see many great qualities that a person can acquire. A good eye is someone that is happy with what they have. They don't look at what their friends or neighbors have but truly enjoy what is theirs without being jealous of others.

Good friends are not easy to find. When the Mishna here speaks of a good friend it means even someone who gives them rebuke. Who wants to hear rebuke? Why is this such a good quality? The reason is because the friend shows how much they care for their well being and how much they want to help.

It is good to live in a place that has good neighbors. Our neighbors and their actions have an influence for good and bad over us and our families. This is why it is so important to live in a place with like-minded people who can help grow in spirituality and help share the same values.

One who considers the probable consequences of their actions is an individual that weighs them carefully. This means they are meticulous in what they do making sure that they do not do anything that may effect another person negatively.

A good heart the Rambam explains is the ability to fix up one's bad character traits. Everything comes from the heart and therefore if the heart is focused on doing good, they will be successful and go in the direction that G-d wants them too. If we have the will and desire to do that, the results can only be positive.

Rabbi Yochan ben Zakkai said that he prefers what Elazar ben Arach said is better because if one has that quality, then all the character traits mentioned in the Mishna will be covered by it. Haven't we met people who exemplify this?

They seek out to help others while giving of them selves and gaining from their chesed. These people will make good neighbors and friends as well as having an open heart to help others in whatever they need. This unselfishness will cause them to look at the good in others which will have a positive effect on others.

Even though we live in a topsy-turvy world, this strong character trait helps us get through the rough times. We can save ourselves much aggravation and anxiety by looking at the positive things that we have and can do. This will gain the contagious support of others helping us in our spiritual endeavors of becoming closer to G-d and reaching our true potential!