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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, March 13, 2014

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 2 Mishna 20: The Power of Torah

"Rabbi Tarfon said, 'The day (life) is short; the task is great; the workmen (human beings) are lazy; the reward is great, and the Master is insistent'"

The first part of the Mishna tells us that life is short and that the task is great. We understand that man is finite and his days are numbered on this earth, that is why we have to make the most of what we do. At the same time, the great task here is learning Torah.

Why is this considered such a great task? Torah is infinite and is for all generations. Torah is as long as the earth and as wide as the ocean! The Torah is unfathomable in the sense that is extremely dense and complicated. Although the Torah was given to man, we seemingly scrape its vast surface when we learn it.

The Mishna then goes on to describe how people are lazy to learn Torah. People don't put in the proper effort in their learning and mitzvah observance. Even the greatest Torah scholars at some level, Rabbenu Yonah tells us are lazy. It is the nature of man to be lazy and no man is free from that. The only question is how much!

There is tremendous reward a person will receive in the next world for how much Torah they learned. According to many commentaries, this is the first question a person will be asked after they die: how much Torah did you learn in this world? The issue is that a person is placed in this world, has to make a livelihood, raise a family...and is always busy.

At the same time, that individual still has to make time to learn and to grow spiritually. No one is exempt from that regardless of their situation in this world. Some may have it easier physically and some not but observance and spiritual growth is a must for everyone!

When that person is judged by G-d for their actions in this world, they will realize that they had even greater potential and squandered their days in this world. This is part of the cleansing process a person will go through because they will be able to see clearly how they wasted their potential.

There is hope though. We need to strive every day and as we say every day before reciting the Shema, G-d renews the world on a daily basis. Since G-d allows us to live and keeps everything in proportion for the world to continue, we too must look at each day anew.

Regardless of what we may have done yesterday or the day before is irrelevant. We have to forget about the past and forge our future to aspire to our spiritual endeavors. When we do this on a regular basis, we begin to change and grow. This is the power of Torah!