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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 20, 2014

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 2 Mishna 21: Internalize the Message

"He used to say, 'You are not called upon to complete the work (of Torah study), yet you are not free to evade it; if you have studied much Torah, much reward will be given you - your Employer can be trusted to pay you for your work; and know that the grant of reward to the righteous will be in the world to come"

Torah is as vast as the sea; we don't really plunge its depths as needed. Nonetheless, we are not free to evade it. How is a person supposed to learn it all? What if they are not given the capacity to finish it; is it a waste of time to try?

Rabbenu Yona explains that a person should never lose hope that they cannot finish learning all of the Torah since we get the mitzvah for learning it. Not only that but learning Torah helps transform and change us by inculcating its timely messages. After all, are we not doing what G-d wants us to do?

We cannot shirk our responsibility and say that I will learn a little here or there; we have to use our strength to the maximum and learn whenever we have free time! A person shouldn't say that they will learn when they are free but rather make fixed times for learning since we may not have that "free" time available to us!

We learn Torah not because we are forced to or because of the reward we will receive. We learn because we believe it is the word of G-d and that it will change us and make us great people. Even though we understand that we will receive reward for the Torah we learn, that is not the ultimate goal.

The goal is to internalize the message the Torah gives us. The more we learn, the more we realize the chesed that G-d does for us which will increase our love and fear of Him. This will teach us that even though there is no reward for keeping the Torah in this world, we will receive it in the next world.

How do we know this? The reason is because G-d could not have created man just for the sake of this world. There is tremendous hatred in this world, wars, sickness, people dying young...The world looks totally haphazard in the way it is being run. We know that the world has order just from the way it was created and G-d continues to run it and keep it going.

The problem is that we don't always understand the messages that G-d sends us. This is precisely why this cannot be the only world G-d created. Unfortunately many of us live in this world like it is ultimate and there is nothing else afterwards. This leaves us empty and with the mentality that I should eat, drink and be merry lest tomorrow I die.

G-d has a purpose for mankind and the world. The Torah keeps the world functioning and thriving. If we shirk our responsibility though, then we undermine what G-d wants from us and potentially bring disaster upon us.

May we utilize our time wisely making fixed times for learning and internalizing the Torah's message.