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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 15, 2014

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 3 Mishna 7: G-d's presence is felt by learning Torah

"Rabbi Chalafta ben Dosa of Kefar Chananya said: 'When ten people sit together and occupy themselves with Torah, the Shechinah abides with them, as it said, "G-d stands in the godly congregation." How do we know that the same applies even to five? It is said, "He has founded his band upon the earth." How do we know the same applies even to three? It is said, "In the midst of the judges he judges." How do we know that it even applies to two? It is said, "Then those who revered the L-rd spoke to each other and the L-rd listened and heard." How do we know that the same applies even to one? It is said, "In every place I have my name mentioned I will come to you and bless you.'"

One thing that we learn from this Mishna is the importance of learning Torah to the extent that G-d's presence is with them as well. This is somewhat difficult to understand because G-d's presence is limitless and cannot be confined to one specific place at a time. The Midrash in fact tells us that G-d is called the "place" of the world rather than the world being His place. In essence G-d is above time and space and is independent of it.

What does the Mishna mean then? Since G-d cannot be confined to a specific place, nonetheless, he lets His presence be felt there.When Torah is learned, it gives veracity to the truth of Torah. Whether in a big group or a small one, there is a clear demonstration of G-d's role in the world!

We live in an world filled with lies and fantasy. The fact that people learn Torah and bring G-d Torah down to this world is nothing short of miraculous. G-d gives us the ability to study His Torah and by doing so, He allows His presence to be felt more.

Someone once asked the famed Kotzker rebbe where G-d is? The rebbe answered him wherever you let him in. By doing mitzvos and learning Torah, it allows His presence to be felt. Even if He is not in one place at one time, His presence can still be felt if we allow ourselves to.

This is the importance of learning Torah. We learn to perfect ourselves and make us better people. When people see that it is only logical that there is a G-d and He runs the world. Living in the physical world makes this much more difficult but when we learn and spread Torah and people are inspired, it demonstrates G-d's existence.

The Mishna is here to teach us that we have the ability to do this and bring G-d's presence to this world. It doesn't matter if the group learning is big or small; the end result is G-d's presence is sanctified as those around us can feel it!