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, January 28, 2016

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 6 Mishna 5: Don't Live on Automatic Pilot

"Do not see greatness for yourself, and do not crave honor; let your performance exceed your learning. Do not lust for the table of kings, for your table is greater than theirs, and your crown is greater than their crown; and your employer is trustworthy to pay you remuneration for your deeds"

Isn't the purpose of learning Torah to become close to G-d? After all, if G-d gave us the blueprint for how to live our lives how could a person think that they are so great that they deserve honor? Even if they have learned a lot of Torah they should not think they are so great because that is what they are created for in the first place!

A person is supposed to live their lives the best way they can while serving G-d. That is enough for us. We are not looking for titles or honor; these things certainly can make a person feel haughty and cause them to lose their share in the world to come. Thinking that a person is so great will lead them to look down on others and forget all the good things that G-d has done for them. They will live off the fat of the land so to speak and say that everything they have is because of the work of their hands. They will end up denying G-d and His important role in their lives.

We sometimes lose sight of this simple idea. We want wealth, fame and greatness in this world. It gives us tremendous self esteem and inflates our ego as to all the good things that we have done and can do. It also can corrupt us to no end because when one has wealth and fame, they think they can do anything and morality goes out of the window.

The real issue here is that a person loses sight of reality and the real purpose of life. It is not about money, sports, entertainment or anything that takes us away from G-d. We are so sucked into what goes around us we forget about Torah and doing mitzvos. It shows a tremendous lack on our part and shallowness as well.

Even if we understand the purpose of life and what we need to do, we always have to work hard to make spirituality a reality for ourselves. This means that when we make blessings for instance we should be cognizant of the fact that we are giving thanks to G-d for the food that He gives us. When we get benefit from something we have to show gratitude.  Keeping Shabbos and the festivals shows that G-d runs the world and cares about what goes on down here!

We have to be careful not to do things just by rote because then even if we are doing the right thing, we minimize its importance if we are on automatic pilot! Torah has to be fresh on a daily basis and we have to look at each day as if G-d gave us the Torah anew. This is a difficult challenge but one that is necessary for us to continue to grow in spirituality even by doing mundane things. We need to prioritize and constantly think in G-d's ways and then go out and do it!