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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.
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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, April 24, 2014

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 3 Mishna 4: How we Acknowledge G-d

"Rabbi Shimon said, 'If three have eaten at a table and have held no conversation of Torah, it is though they have eaten of sacrifices offered to the dead (idols) as it is said, 'For all their tables are full of filth without the presence of G-d. But if three have eaten at a table and have conversed of Torah, they are as though they have eaten from the table of G-d, as it is said, 'He said to me: This is the table which is in the Presence of the L-rd.'"

Why is it so  bad that if one eats with others and they don't speak words of Torah? If they don't speak anything forbidden is that such a tragedy? Rabbenu Yonah explains that since three people are considered a group it only appears that they are eating for the sake of their own enjoyment and throwing off the yoke of heaven.

The reason this is so severe is because one may just eat and drink for their own enjoyment and take G-d straight out of the picture. They will then live their lives by the old adage eat, drink and be merry lest tomorrow I die.

If on the other hand, they speak words of Torah then they have showed that they have proper intentions because they are eating and drinking to sustain their bodies to better serve G-d. Even such a mundane activity as eating can have the highest level of sanctity if done right.

We acknowledge G-d's goodness by speaking words of Torah and implementing its ideas. If not, we just give into and are controlled by our desires which is equivalent to idol worship. If we don't serve G-d, then we serve ourselves!

This may at first glance seem to be harsh but in reality there is a tremendous lesson to be learned. G-d is all around us and we have the opportunity to sanctify His name even with the most mundane of actions.

This is a great opportunity that we should not lose and it will give us greater awareness of G-d's role in the world and our obligation to Him!