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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.
Monday, September 2, 2013

Ethics of our Fathers Chapter 1 Mishna 12: Don't be Stubborn, Change!

Hillel and Shamai received the oral tradition from the preceding. Hillel said, 'Be of the disciples of Aharon, loving peace and pursuing peace, be one who loves his fellow men and draws them near to the Torah.'

Rav Ovadiah Bartenura tells us how Aharon Ha'Kohen would make between two people that were arguing. Without knowledge of one of the combatants he would tell him how his friend had remorse for what he has done and is sad beyond belief for what he has done to his friend. He said to me that he will now go to his friend and ask his forgiveness for what he has done.

Aharon would tell the other friend the same story and when each one met up with the other, they would ask each other forgiveness. This is how Aharon HaKohen would make peace between two arguing people. What a lesson we can learn! The problem is that we stand on circumstance and refuse to budge and admit we have done anything wrong.

This leads us to be stubborn, not wanting to give in and change for the sake of peace. What a different world it would be if we could learn to overcome being adamant and not wanting to make peace with someone.

This leads to the second part of the Mishna where Aharon would draw people close to the Torah. How would he do that? If Aharon would feel that someone transgressed in private he would go over to them and draw them close and befriend them. The one who transgressed would say to himself, 'if Aharon knew what I had hidden in my heart, he would not want to befriend me but rather I am a good person in his eyes and full of mitzvos!

"If Aharon really knew who I was," he continues, "he would stay away from such an evil person!" This person would then feel bad and ashamed of what they had done and it would cause them to do teshuvah (repent) Aharon had the ability just by acting in a friendly manner to change others.

This reminds me of the story of when a Yeshiva student went to see the Chofetz Chaim. This student was found to be smoking on Shabbos and he was summoned to see the Rosh Yeshiva (head of the Yeshivah). The Chofetz Chaim took the boy by the and and cried tears saying the words, 'Shabbos'.
That is all he said.

From that time on, that boy never smoked on Shabbos! This is the power of our actions that can lead a person to teshuvah, true love and caring. When a person sees that, how can they not want to change?