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.
View my complete profile


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, February 13, 2014

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter Two Mishna 16: Don't let our bad feelings overcome us and cause destruction

"Rabbi Yehoshua said, 'the evil eye (greed), the evil impulse and hatred of mankind shorten a man's life'"

The first part of the Mishna tells us that the evil eye will shorten a man's life. Why is this? Rabbenu Yona explains that it means that a person is not happy with what he has. If his friend is rich then that person will be jealous and ask, 'why am I not rich like my friend?

This jealousy will cause one to inject the evil eye on his friend potentially causing them physical and spiritual damage. The reason is because that person has tremendous desire for what the other person has and will not rest until they themselves have it. An example of this is someone who adds an extension to their house.

A person watching the building could claim that he too wants to add an extension but either they don't have any resources to do it or they live in a place where they can't. They will be jealous of their friend because even though they themselves cannot do it, why should my friend do it? This can lead to many bad feelings that cause undo harm between them.

The next two things that the Mishna would seem obvious in that the evil inclination and hatred of his fellow man will shorten their lives. The simple explanation is when a person makes themselves subservient to their evil inclination, they are not able to serve G-d properly. They will justify their actions in so many different ways that it will be impossible to overcome it.

The evil inclination does not rest and tries to get the person to transgress even while they are asleep! We have to be constantly on guard against it and strive to the best of our ability to overcome it.

The hatred of mankind will shorten a person's life as well. The reason is that the more a person hates others and speaks badly against them, the more they will hate him and cause him anguish. Even if a person feels justified in hating the other person, that poison festers and allows them no rest.

If we would look at everything as coming from G-d and He is sending us messages through these messengers, then we would see the world in a very different light. These messengers are there for us to grow and utilize the situation for a better way to serve G-d.

Although that would be the proper outlook, putting it into practice is quite a different thing. G-d many times gives us 'love taps' in many different ways. We have to look at them as times to grow and overcome these trials and tribulations to become the great people we can become!