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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.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ethics of Our Fathers Chapter 1 Mishna 16: Don't be Afraid to Ask for Advice

"Rabban Gamliel said, 'Provide yourself with a teacher and avoid doubt; and do not make a habit of giving tithes by guesswork"

There is nothing worse than having a question come before you and there is a doubt in your mind which way the halacha should be. This Mishna teaches us that a person should have a colleague either more knowledgeable or not to exchange ideas with it to come up with the right conclusion.

Rabbenu Yonah learns that even if this person does not match your level of wisdom, nonetheless it is worthwhile to have their counsel so there will be no doubt what the halacha is. The reason this is so important is because one does not want to permit something when it should be forbidden or forbid something that would be permitted. Therefore, you should appoint your friend as your rav to take one's self out of doubt.

This takes great humility because in essence one is saying that they don't know the answer and they have to seek guidance from others even if they are less learned. This also shows the importance of having someone to guide them and to learn from.

I have had the good fortune of being around great rabbinic figures where I gained practical knowledge as well as seeing their humility and righteousness in action. By witnessing great people in everyday life, it certainly changed my life and showed me what the great potential that man has!

The last part of the Mishna tells us that if one has a doubt regarding tithes that one should be stringent and take more will certainly make a mistake and cause one to lose out on their decision. Therefore, one should have a rav or someone they can get advice from who will be able to help them and steer them in the right direction.

Many people in different situations would have been helped had they asked advice from someone else who is capable of helping them. Two heads have the ability to prevail on a difficult task than one trying to figure things out on their own.

We have to try and be more humble and say that we don't know everything and sometimes ask others for advice. Rav Sternbuch Shlita told me in the name of the Brisker Rav that it was more important to say that they did not know the answer to a question than give an answer that was not truthful. Even the greatest scholars who say I don't know teach this valuable lesson of humility.