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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, July 3, 2014

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 3 Mishna 14: Don't let things limit your potential!

"Rabbi Dosa ben Horkinus said: 'Morning sleep (late sleeping), wine drinking at noon, (frivolous) children's talk, and attending the meeting places of the ignorant shorten a man's life.'"

The first part of the Mishna teaches us that a person should not sleep late. The main reason is because a person should rise early so they can pray at the appropriate time. Another reason is that when one gets a late start, it seems to have a bad effect on their overall day.

Getting up early should prepare us properly for our upcoming day. A person is most productive during the day accomplishing a lot. At the same time, if we don't start our day early enough then it seems to slowly digress as we get thrown off our schedule which helps give us order to our day.

A person needs a certain amount of sleep to be able to function during the day. Too much sleep can make a person lethargic and not productive. Too little sleep can affect performance as well. We have to eat well, exercise and take care of our bodies that we can maximize our potential. One way we can do this is by getting up at a normal time to start our day.

Drinking wine in the afternoon can cause us to stray away from learning Torah. This will depend on how much a person drinks and what their tolerance level is. In either case, the Mishna warns us that drinking during the day can cause us to not work to our full capacity whether in our jobs or our spiritual endeavors.

Drinking alcoholic beverages should be saved for specific times that don't interfere with our mitzvah observance. We must be care to utilize it at the right time so it doesn't affect us negatively.

Speaking frivolous talk does nothing to enhance our spiritual lives and it can certainly cause us to waste time talking in a way that the Torah does not want us to. This can lead to speaking about things that are forbidden or lead to actions that do not help us grow spiritually.

It also takes away from our primary goal of learning Torah and implementing its important message to us. We have to be careful how we speak and what we speak about making sure at all times to integrate the Torah into our lives.

The last part of the Mishna tells us that sitting with ignorant men will shorten our lives. This means that the whole purpose of life is to work on ourselves, fixing up our character flaws and being the best people that we can. If we sit with others or befriend them in a way that will be detrimental to this, then we in effect shorten our lives.

If our goal is to learn an keep the mitzvos, then why should we be here in this world if we don't do that! Why should G-d continue to give us life if we go against this fundamental message? The idea here is to be aware of one's surroundings at all times and navigating through it.

The Torah that we learn must be exemplified when we walk out to the street and interact with others. It is not enough to be righteous just in the study hall but we need to take what we learn and show others how the Torah expects us to behave!