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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, May 1, 2014

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 3 Mishna 5: Utilizing our Precious Time

"Rabbi Chanina ben Hakinai said: 'He who is awake at night, or travels alone on the road, and turns his mind to idle thoughts, commits a deadly sin.'"

When one is out at night and just wants to unwind from a long day. what is the problem with letting one's mind wander a little bit? After all, we all need down time right?

The Mishna here explains that if one is awake at night or travelling alone, they should concentrate their thoughts on Torah because of the dangers that nighttime may bring. Therefore, if a person is in potential danger, their thoughts should be on Torah so that it will protect them.

The Talmud tells us that even though we don't get merit of the mitzvos that we do until the next world, nonetheless, the Torah that we learn and the mitzvos we do have the power to protect us. This means that the Torah learning we do or the Torah thoughts we have, protect us at that moment.

Another way of viewing this Mishna is that we have an opportune time to concentrate our thoughts on Torah and we shouldn't waste it! In the case where we are not working at that time and it is quiet, how much more so we should utilize this precious time!

If we don't use it properly, then according to the Mishna we have seemingly forfeited our lives. The reason is because it is ultimately a moment of undisturbed Torah learning that can lead to tremendous spiritual growth.

We have no worries or pressures to do things and we can concentrate on our holy work! That is only if we utilize it properly. If not, then we have lost something that at that time we cannot regain.

This is essentially our job in this world. We need to take advantage of time and not let time consume us. After all, once a person is finished with their job and their other familial responsibilities, they are now free to put their best effort in learning Torah.

We sometimes have to steal time in this world since we are so busy with other things. This is what makes someone a Torah Jew. They know they have to work to put food on the table but they realize that they are a Jew first and have a higher calling so-to-speak.

We are constantly reminded by this through all the mitzvos that we do on a daily...yearly basis. It helps keep us focused to understand what we need to do and accomplish. Woe to the person that had free time to study and grow and wasted it.

We have to be careful and try and utilize time properly. If we do, then we can grow; if not, as the Mishna tells us, we not only waste that precious time, but we forfeit something much greater!