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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 8, 2014

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 3 Mishna 6: There is nothing more important than learning Torah

Rabbi Nechunya ben ha'Kanah said, 'Whoever takes upon himself the yoke of the Torah will be relieved from the yoke of the government and the yoke of worldly affairs (struggle for existence); whoever divests himself of the yoke of the Torah will be burdened with the yoke of the government and the yoke of worldly affairs.'' 

The Mishna here explains that when one takes on the yoke of Torah they will be relieved from livelihood issues. This means that when one dedicates his life to Torah learning, i.e. they make the Torah the essence of their life and livelihood is secondary, they receive the blessing that G-d will guard them from doing anything extraneous to insure the continuity of their Torah study.

This would teach us that one would not have to work so hard to make a livelihood. When seeking that out, one should try and hone their skills into something that they could maximize the most of their time to sitting and learning. Although this is easier said than done, nonetheless, many have seen blessing in their work endeavors because they have dedicated the majority of their time to learning.

The Torah is clear that making a livelihood won't be easy and we will have to work through the sweat of our brow to make a living, nonetheless, if we truly want to learn, we have to dedicate ourselves to do that and G-d does the rest. Sometimes, though we see that this is not the case and a person has to work harder to make a living.

If we would be more in tune with what G-d wants from this, then what we have previously explained would be true. Yes we have to put our beset foot forward to be able to provide for our families .At the same time, we want to maximize our time learning as much as possible while at the same time, finding work that will allow us to do that.

The opposite is also true. If we spend most of our waking hours involved in making money and that is the essence of our lives, then our ability to learn will be burdened with other things. G-d will insure that we are busy with other things so that we won't be able to learn in peace.

The reason is that this person has made a clear-cut choice to make choose the "world" over Torah. This means that their worldly pursuits are on par with Torah and they do the "best" they can when it comes to learning. After all, they will explain, they have to make a living and support their families.

There are many times, though that one may think that they are obligated to do certain work related things when in reality that is not the case. This will be held against a person because the "work" they think they need to be doing doesn't have to be done and they could have been learning Torah!

Supporting one's family is an important thing and a person has to put their best foot forward to do it. We also have realize that even though that is true, when one is not occupied with that, Torah learning comes first!