Blog Archive

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.
View my complete profile


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 29, 2014

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 8 Mishna 9: There is Nothing more Important than Torah

"Rav Yakov said: 'One who walks on the road while reviewing [a Torah lesson] but interrupts his review and exclaims, 'How beautiful is this tree! How beautiful is this plowed field! Scripture considers it as if he bears guilt for his soul'"

The Mishna tells us the importance of Torah learning to the extent that if a person while reviewing that lesson on the way exclaims 'What a beautiful tree or plowed field that is' is considered as if he has forfeited their life. How can this be explained? After all, even if one made a blessing on that field or tree, one would be liable for the death penalty!

Rabbenu Yonah explains that the learning a person does should be done with fear and awe. This means that one should not speak frivolous things or to seemingly praise G-d for His great creation. There is nothing more than Torah learning and one must sanctify that time for that purpose.

Therefore, when learning Torah one should not think about politics, sporting events or anything that will take one's mind off Torah. Even if we see a beautiful thing which is G-d's creation, one must learn with continuity, awe and fear of heaven.

When one is able to learn with that type of clarity, they will be better equipped to understand what they are learning. One must also shut everything out from their daily lives when encompassed in learning. Although our days are filled with many trials and tribulations, we nonetheless have to shut out our everyday life.

If we try to the best of out ability to use this sanctified time to our benefit, we will receive the ability to understand G-d's Torah. The reason that taking one's attention off this is so drastic is because we have to understand the importance of Torah and our ability to implement it's teachings into our life.

As we approach the holiday of Shavuos and renew our connection to Torah, we should take this teaching to heart. As we stay up later than usual Shavuos night showing our commitment to Torah, we show G-d how much we value Torah. Just as Ruth clung to Naomi and declared "I will go where you go; your G-d is my G-d" and nothing will deter me to be part of this people and learn the Torah, so too we declare our connection to Torah; nothing is more important than it and nothing ever will be!