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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 26, 2014

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 3 Mishna 13: Sanctifying G-d's Name in Public

"He used to say: 'If the spirit of one's fellows is pleased with him, the spirit of the Omnipresent is pleased with him, but if the spirit of one's fellows is not pleased with him, the spirit of the Omnipresent is not pleased with him.'"

The Talmud Yoma 86a tells us that a person that learns and interacts with others in an honest way, what do others say about him? Happy is the one who learns Torah, happy is his father and mother that taught him Torah. This is why the Mishna tells us that G-d is happy with him because the Torah is pleasing to others.

This means that when a Jew has positive interactions with others, they will see that it is because he clings to Torah and lives by its priceless message. If on the other hand, one does not act properly and does things not according to its laws, then others will have disdain for him, all the more so G-d Himself!

This may be hard to understand because a person could be well liked in this world and still be considered disgusting in G-d's eyes because they do not keep His Torah or mitzvos! There is a false reality in this world. Even though someone may be popular and have lots of followers does not mean that He lives by G-d's law.

This, fortunately or unfortunately is the role of the Jew in this world. We are the ambassadors for the Jewish people whether we like it or not. This means that we have to be careful what we do because if we do not do the right thing and desecrate G-d's name then others will lump all Jews together and say "Jews are this" or Jews are like that."

On the other hand, if we sanctify G-d's name in public by doing acts of loving kindness and mitzvos, others will see the merit of the Torah and praise the Jewish people for their great selfless acts. We cannot shirk this responsibility.

We cannot say that our actions don't matter and that others should not put us on such a high pedestal. Even if we don't want that, we have to live with it and try our best wherever we are to make a kiddush Hashem! (sanctify G-d's name), We have to have proper manners, not push in line... In short, we have to be constantly on guard to make sure that we are an example for others.

If we don't do that, then we become despised in the eyes of others! We have to live up to high standards whereby one will look at this person and cry out, "great is the father that taught this person Torah!" That is the standard we need to reach even if we don't think we can!

As I just got up from sitting shiva for my father, he exemplified that. He lived his life whereby people would say how nice he was and what good he did for others. He lived this principle! I don't know anyone whether in his business dealings or with his synagogue that had one negative thing to say about it. That is the tribute that he was buried with over 400 people at the funeral. This is how a Jew should act!