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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, December 19, 2013

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 2 Mishna 7: Judgment Measure for Measure

"He saw a skull floating on the surface of the water. He said to it: 'Because you drowned others, others have drowned you; and those who have drowned you, shall themselves be drowned [ measure for measure]'"

The reason for this is because there is a judge who runs the world and there is also judgement. This means that if a person killed someone and spilled innocent blood, then too the same thing should happen to him.

Rabbenu Yonah explains that because someone has killed, someone else is not allowed to take revenge and kill them for what they have done. Even if they would be obligated to die by a rabbinical court in this world, still one is not allowed to go out and act as a vigilante to offset the death that has occurred.

At the same time, the heinous action that this person did to someone else should be done to that individual. This means that when G-d judges a person and punishes them for the wrongful actions, He judges them measure for measure for what they have done.

Things in this world do not happen haphazardly and for no reason. We in our limited intelligence for what we see may not explain the actions of others and why things occur. G-d in His infinite wisdom will only allow us to understand the workings of what transpires in the world and in our own lives when we are a pure soul.

This is because since we are created from the impurity of the ground in this world, our soul is dulled because of it. Only when we are involved in spirituality through Torah and mitzvos, do we gain special insight. We get a glimpse in this world but it so hard to understand it because of all the tragedies that surround us.

This is the age-old question of why bad things happen to good people. The Torah is clear in many places that a person receives punishment measure for measure for what they have done. This makes sense because G-d is good and his ways are good. He judges and acts accordingly due to our actions. The judgement is fair and the punishment always fits the crime even if we are not able to fathom it.

We live in a very complicated world. It seems like utter chaos and no rhyme or reason for things to happen the way they do. The Torah is a blueprint to our very existence and gives us the tools to better be equipped to deal with life's challenges.

A student once came to Rav Moshe Shcneider, the famed Rosh Yeshiva of Etz Chaim in London. The student asked for a blessing from his rebbe. Rav Schneider asked him what blessing he would like. The student said he wanted a blessing that everything should go easy.

The Rosh Yeshiva answered, "I cannot give such a blessing. That would be a blessing in vain. Instead I give you the blessing that whatever trials and tribulations you have in this world you should be able to overcome them!"

This is a true lesson for all of us. Even if things are difficult they are ultimately for the good even if it is difficult for us to understand. The silver lining is there, we just have to know how to look for it.