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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, November 21, 2013

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 2 Mishna 3: Don't rely on man, only on G-d

"Be cautious of the ruling authorities  for they befriend a man only for their own interests; they appear as friends when it is to their own advantage, but they do not stand by a man when he is in distress"

This Mishna explains what has happened over the millennium. The ruling authorities of any country, state...always look out for their own interests. Even in the most democratic countries, the one's in charge call the shots even though they are elected by the people.

They talk a good game, promise the world and more but in the end satisfy their own needs and not that of their constituents! When they need something from people they will go out of their way to be friendly and nice and do what it takes to get what they want. If not, their is no end to what they may do.

Just think of any company that requires money from an individual. They will do whatever it takes to get the money out of the person. On the other hand, if the company owes someone money, see how quickly they are in returning it!

Even in times when a man most needs help, they are often not their for them because it is not in their interest! We can think of many a war or two that the United States did not get involved in where there was tremendous bloodshed and loss of life. 

This does not mean that America has to run around the world and help everyone but rather we see that when there are no American interests at stake, America does not get involved even at the expense of mass genocide!

On the individual level, don't we act in a similar way? Mankind in general is selfish and acts in their own interests for their own motives. Whether it be in business, sports or entertainment, we look out for ourselves. Torah and the observance of mitzvos make us realize that this is not the proper way to act.

There is an obligation of giving tzedaka and helping those less fortunate than ourselves. There is an obligation of helping the community and getting involved in communal affairs. The Torah teaches us that we have to look beyond ourselves without receiving any benefit for what we do!

This Mishna teaches that we have no one else to rely on except our father in heaven and not to rely on the actions of man. At the same time, we still have to change ourselves and our mentality and help one another even though it really goes against our nature. This is precisely the reason that these mitzvos were given to us!!