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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 22, 2014

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 3 Mishna 8: G-d's role and connection to His creation

"Rabbi Elazar of Bartusa said, 'Give Him from His Own, for you and your possessions are His. And so has David said, 'For everything is from You, and from your Own we have given You'"

This Mishna teaches us that everything comes from G-d and because this is so, we have an obligation to use the gifts G-d has given us for His sake. This means that whatever talents we have, we should use and utilize them in our spiritual endeavors.

This does not just mean that if have been blessed with a good livelihood that we should give a  lot of money to charity. We definitely should do this but the Mishna is not coming to tell us just this case but rather in all our endeavors we should use the good gifts that G-d has given us.

We also learn that everything that G-d gives us is like a deposit and He has the right if He so desires to take it away. Therefore when G-d entrusts us with things i.e. money, children...we have to use them properly for the sake of heaven. The problem is that we sometimes look at the world in a much more selfish way.

We think that we deserve certain things and if we don't get them, we complain bitterly about our situation. G-d does not owe us anything, but he gives us the right to exist in His world. That means we are not allowed to just do what we want with our talents but rather we should utilize them to the best of our ability.

There are mitzvos that we also do that exemplify this teaching. For example, regarding the mitzvah of tithing our crops, the Torah commands us "You shall surely tithe all the produce of your seed which your field puts forth every year" (Deuteronomy 14:22). Remember, the Torah tells you, when you merit to have nice crops, don't forget to give to G-d some because He is the one that allowed it to happen.

We have to learn and realize that what we have comes from Him. Yes, we have to work hard and use all of our strengths to survive in this world but we cannot forget that even with that, if G-d does not will it, then we will not be successful in our endeavors!

We often think that whatever happens to use for better or for worse is only the result of the actions of our hands. This takes G-d out of the picture and leads to idol worship, whether it be literally another G-d or a replacement ie money, entertainment...

G-d runs the world and has a role in history as witnessed by our miraculous delivery from Egypt. He has a personal connection to His world and has never forsaken it! We may not understand how it works by what we see in this world, nonetheless He is right there pulling all the strings.

Although this idea may be obvious, we live in a world where G-d's presence is hidden and it is difficult to be able to see this. If we look carefully and analyze things in our lives, this becomes more evident as we see the close personal connection that G-d has with all of us!