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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 26, 2013

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 2 Mishna 8: Doing the Right Things has Benefits

"He used to say, 'the more flesh the more worms (in the grave); the more property the more anxiety; the more wives the more witchcraft; the more female servants the more lewdness; the more male servants the more thievery; but the more Torah study the more life; the more schooling, the more wisdom; the more counsel the more understanding; the more righteousness, the more peace. One who has acquired a good name, has acquired it for himself; one who has acquired for himself Torah has acquired for himself the life of the world to come'"

The beginning of the Mishna teaches us that a person should not indulge one's self in the vanities of this world especially when it comes to food. A person should eat so that they can strengthen themselves to be better able to serve G-d.

The other issue that the more one eats the more embarrassed one will be after they die. The reason is because it will cause more worms to eat their flesh (appetizing) which is like having a needle dig into one's flesh. Even if we are destined to die and be eaten by worms, we should minimize what the worms will eat which will help not to cause our soul intense suffering.

The next part of the Mishna tells us that wealth does not bring us any rest. The reason is that the more  property and things that one acquires in this world will cause a person more worry of how they are going to be able to hold on to them and sustain them.

Although money and wealth can certainly make one's life easier, it nonetheless causes them a lot of stress as well. How many wealthy people are there that are not paranoid about money?

The next part of the Mishna explains that even though one has more wives or female servants or slaves, the offshoots of their potential bad actions is reflected on the owner of them. This means that even if a person has many wives and servants and they themselves do terrible things, it is as if the master had done these things himself.

Rabbenu Yonah explains that the master had the opportunity to prevent this and make sure these things don't happen. Since he does not do so properly, it is as if he himself has done the action!

The next part of the Mishna that when a person increases Torah he increases life corresponds to the beginning of the Mishna,  Rabbenu Yonah explains. When a person eats a lot it certainly can shorten a persons life while learning Torah extends life in the next world.

Having lots of property and wealth can shorten a persons life while worrying about Torah thoughts and how to properly keep halacha actually extends his life. The reason is that even if someone is worried about how to perform a specific action in conjunction with halacha, a person on such a level, no harm will befall him for that.

Just the opposite. The more he learns Torah and delves into the intricacies of it will only grow spiritually and raise himself to higher levels and aspirations. This will be a benefit to him and his family as well.

The next part of the Mishna tells us that the more wisdom one has the more understanding they have. This means that when they learn and give over information to their students, they sharpen the ideas of the teacher making his lessons even more potent.

Even if a person has a lot of knowledge, it becomes even greater by the questions of their students. The more they ask the more they make their rebbe stronger!

The next part of the Mishna tells us that the more charity one gives the more peace he brings to the world. This means that when one is able to help another regarding financial matters, that person gets the benefit of the help and loves the person for what he has given him.

This combined with other good deeds that the person does earns him a good name. Others will want to be close to him and will want to be their friend. This helps promote peace and love among people!