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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, January 22, 2015

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 4 Mishna 12: Don't Squander Spiritual Opportunities

"Rabbi Meir said: 'Do rather less business and occupy yourself with the Torah; be humble before all men; if you neglect the Torah, you will have many disturbing causes in your way but if you toil in the Torah, G-d has abundant reward to give you'".

The first part of the Mishna tells us that we should minimize the amount of time we put into our livelihood and occupy the majority of our time with learning Torah. Livelihood is very important because without that, one won't be able to study!

This means that we should try and find a livelihood that can make us enough money but be free to learn as much Torah as possible. When choosing a field of work this should be of utmost priority. Although it is not always easy to find, our goal in this world is to provide for ourselves and our families while maximizing the amount of time we learn Torah.

The next part of the Mishna is a continuation of learning Torah because if we learn properly and truly internalize the eternal messages we will be humble and realize what our real task is in this world! The Torah will become part of ourselves which will help us strive and realize our potential through great effort in learning it.

If we don't learn Torah properly or even neglect it then G-d will send difficulties our way. This means that if we have the opportunity to learn and don't or we don't learn at all then G-d will rebuke us by sending us difficult challenges. These are seen as a wakeup call, so-to-speak that will hopefully take us out of our slumber and put us on the right track.

Just as parents don't like to rebuke their kids, they sometimes have to and correct their errant behavior. So to, G-d wants the best for us but sometimes has to punish us for our wrong actions.

If we try and maximize all our efforts to try and learn and better ourselves spiritually, G-d himself will give us reward. Even though G-d has different messengers to do His work, in this case, G-d will see to it Himself that His beloved ones receive the merit they deserve.

If G-d has to mete out justice, G-d forbid, He does it through His messengers whereas the reward comes straight from him. Although we know this to be true, we don't keep Torah and do mitzvos for the sake of reward.

We do them because we believe it is the right thing to do regardless of whether we get reward or not! When we realize the great opportunity that G-d gives us to learn His Torah and keep His mitzvos, we must not squander it.

That being said, it is not an easy task but at the same time, when we put in the effort we see the results. No one puts in effort and sees nothing; everything we do builds on previous things and makes us stronger in our beliefs!