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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 13, 2014

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 4 Mishna 2:The Importance of Mitzvah Observance

"Ben Azzai said, 'Run to perform even a minor mitzvah, and flee from transgression; for one good deed draws (in its train) another good deed, and one transgression leads to another; for the reward of a good deed is a good deed, and the reward of sin is sin" (virtue is its one reward, and sin its own penalty).

Rabbenu Yonah explains that the purpose of running to perform even a minor mitzvah is because we don't know the merit we receive for doing so. Even though we perform mitzvos because we believe it's the right thing to do, nonetheless we know that we will receive our reward for them in the next world.

Ben Azzai adds that we should run towards a minor mitzvah and stay from transgression. Why does he mention the idea of a minor mitzvah here? If a person does a minor mitzvah once, that will draw him close to G-d and put him in the proper frame of mind to perform other mitzvos as well. This is why we educate our children even from a young age to participate in doing mitzvos so they will regularly want to do them in the future!

When a person performs this mitzvah it leads him to do other mitzvos as we explained. Even though the merit for doing the mitzvah is only in the next world, we get the benefit of the mitzvos we do which allows to do other mitzvos. The purpose of what we do makes us closer to G-d and continues the cycle of our good deeds.

If a person though chooses to transgress, then in the same way that will lead to other transgressions and make it difficult for them to do teshuvah (repent). Everyone has free will and G-d will let a person to choose whatever path they want. Their choice, though has repercussions.

Even if we choose to do good, the yetzer hara (evil inclination) will not rest and will continue to try and convince to do the wrong thing. At the same time, we arm ourselves spiritually with learning Torah and performing mitzvos to offset this. In reality, there will be this constant struggle but if we continue to do G-d's will, then that will lead us down one path; or if choose transgression, it leads to a different path.

We live in a world that is full of temptation which would seemingly throw us off our path to living a spiritual life. We have to insulate ourselves to the point where we are constantly reinforcing the good values that will lead us to keep the Torah the way in which it should be! This is not something that is easily acquired and takes great effort and perseverance.