About Me

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, August 28, 2014

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 3 Mishna 20: Enjoying this world comes at a price

"He used to say: 'Everything is given on pledge, and a net is spread for all the living (none can escape divine justice) ; the store is open and the storekeeper (G-d) allows credit; the ledger is open and the hand writes; whoever wishes to borrow may come and borrow, but the collectors go around regularly every day and exact punishment from man, whether or not he realizes (that he is punished for his sins); they have good authority on which they can rely, since the judgement is just;  and all is prepared for the banquet (the reward for the righteous is assured).

The first part of the Mishna explains that whatever we have in this world is loaned to us and we shouldn't think that we will pass it on to our kids or our loved ones. The reason is because everything belongs to G-d and He can decide to take it away if He chooses. This is the reality which we must live by.

Rabbenu Yonah gives us a parable with which to understand this. A person walks into a certain place and doesn't find anybody there. He walks into a house and finds a table set up and on it many delicacies of food and drink. He eats and drinks and says, 'All this I have merited and I will do with it what I wish! He doesn't realize that someone else must have brought it there and in the end he will have to pay back what he benefited from'.

This means that even though we are given free reign to live as we want, we will have to give an accounting for our actions after we die. Even in justice G-d has mercy and He will judge a person measure for measure.

The rest of the Mishna explains in terms of a shopkeeper and credit that he gives to his customers. They come and borrow on credit but at the end, they still have to pay. This is a parable to life in this world.

We are given the opportunity to enjoy this world and everything inside it. We have to know how to do that! G-d has given us instructions in the form of the Torah that guide our everyday life from when we wake up in the morning until we go to sleep at night.

If we use the world properly, then everything is good; the rain will come in its proper time,there will be peace in the land... If we don't do what we are supposed to do, then there is strife and evil runs rampant.

Everyone has to take stock of their lives and try and change to live as G-d wants to do. There are repercussions for our actions as well. We will only understand to what extent after death when G-d shows us what we did in our lives and what we had the potential to do,

Woe to the person that had great potential and wasted it on their desires in this world. G-d gave us a great world where we could strive to great spiritual heights.. Let's use it properly and grab it!