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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 2, 2014

Pirke Avos: Chapter 2 Mishna 9: The Purpose of Creatiom

Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai received the oral tradition from Hillel and Shamai. He used to say, 'If you have learned much Torah, do not claim credit for it because you were created for this purpose'"

The first part of Rabbi Yochanan's statement is indeed interesting. If a person dedicates their life to a Torah lifestyle, that should obviously imply that they have been learning many Torah concepts that they have integrated into their lives. Rabbenu Yona explains that this means that the Torah is so wide and so vast that a person cannot even fathom its true depth.

This is because man is a finite creature while the Torah is everlasting throughout all generations. Even if we toil and learn it, there is so much to further learn that it is impossible to reach its true deepness. After all, even after all the learning and living by its laws, isn't that what the purpose of life is? So why would a person think they are so special, this is in fact what they were created to do!

Rabbenu Yonah uses a parable to further explain his point. If a person had a debt that needed to be repaid and repaid it, is that person going to think they are so wonderful that they just did this great act? They were obligated to pay it back, how can they themselves think this is such a selfless act that turns them into such a great person?

This is exactly what the Mishna is telling us. The more Torah we learn, the more we grow, the more we learn all of its intricacies, isn't this what G-d wants from us from the beginning? Rashi tells us at the beginning of the book of Genesis that one of the reasons that G-d created the world was for the sake of the Torah!

G-d wanted to bring the Torah down to this world so that it would change mankind and fulfill His purpose in creating it! G-d gave us the ability to tap into this world which allows us to be close to Him. This is the purpose of creation and my purpose in life.

If this premise is indeed true, is a person not just fulfilling what G-d wants from us? Can we really say that we are such great individuals from this? We have to realize that this is our purpose in the world and this is what transforms us to become the great people that we can.