Blog Archive

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.
View my complete profile


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 4, 2014

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 4: Mishna 5: G-d is Watching You!

"Rabbi Yochanan ben Berokah said: 'Whoever profanes the name of G-d secretly is punished publicly, whether the profanation is committed intentionally or unintentionally."

When we speak about a profanation of G-d's name the connotation is something that has taken place in public. The desecration of G-d's name will depend on the level where the person is holding spiritually. 

The Talmud gives an example of a rabbi who bought meat but didn't pay for it immediately. Each one will get judged according to their own level. We learn this out from Yishmael because when he was a child and dying of thirst, G-d did not allow him to die.

The angels asked why he was allowed to live if in the future his progeny would inflict great punishment and make the Jewish people suffer. G-d answered by asking if the child right now is guilty or innocent whereby the angels answered innocent. G-d then told them that since he is innocent now, I cannot punish him for what he may do in the future because I am judging him as he is now! 

 The Mishna here explicitly tells us that the transgression we do in our homes where others don't see us will eventually come out in public whether we did them intentionally or not. This is truly remarkable because many times we hear of things that people did that we never would have known had it not been made public.

This teaches us a number of lessons. One is how careful we have to be in our actions even in the privacy of our own homes! if we don't then we could eventually be exposed even for the most private of things!

There's an old saying: what goes around comes around. This seems to mean that a person's actions whether they are good or bad have consequences. We can run but we can't hide. G-d knows the thoughts and actions of all men and will expose those things that we so desperately try and hide.

This is similar to what the Zohar says at the end of a person's life, they will be shown two movies. One movie is what they did in their lives and the other is what they had the potential to do. Before the invention of video recorders. we would not know what this is referring to.

Now that we see things can be recorded and saved, G-d too does the same thing and will play all our actions that we have done when He renders His final judgement! The true righteous person is careful with their actions in public but we must be careful with them in private as well.

This shows true fear of heaven that all our actions regardless of where we may be have to be proper in G-d's eyes. This is not an easy task but G-d is with us no matter where we are and that is something we all have to remember!