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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, June 5, 2014

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 3 Mishna 10: Don't Take Torah for Granted

"Rabbi Dostai ben Yannai says in the name of Rebbi Meir: 'Whoever forgets anything of his Torah learning, Scripture considers it as if he bears guilt for his soul, for it is said, 'But beware and guard your soul exceedingly lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen.'Does this apply even if [he forgot because] his studies were too difficult for him? [This is not so, for] Scripture says, 'And lest they be removed from your heart all the days of your life.' Therefore one does not bear guilt for his soul unless he sits [idly] and [through lack of concentration and review] removes them from his consciousness'"

Is it really possible to remember everything that we learn? After all, not all of us have a great memory so why is it that the Mishna here tells us that we bear guilt if we don't remember what we learned?

Torah is not something that is easily acquired. It is something that one has to constantly work on. If we don't don't constantly review, then how are we supposed to remember what we learned? This concept can be applied to anything, not just Torah. Will someone be a good doctor or engineer if they don't review the crafts of their trade?

Another reason this is so severe is that when one doesn't remember what they learned, they will be lenient when they should be stringent and stringent when they should be lenient! This could cause one to transgress the mitzvos through lack of knowledge.

This could explain the severity of what the Mishna is teaching us. We have an obligation to keep and guard G-d's Torah to the best of our ability. If we fail based upon lack of knowledge because we don't properly review, the consequences could be catastrophic!

We certainly can't rely on our memory since after time passes, even the best of us forget important details. Even though it doesn't seem like so  much fun to review what we "already know" nonetheless we won't retain it without it!

We are always interested in learning new things and implementing the ideas into our everyday life. What about what we already know? The purpose of Torah is too make it a part of our lives, to live it, breathe it... This can only be accomplished when we are in sync with what we learn. This means we can't take it for granted and must constantly strive to review what we learn!