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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 11, 2014

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 4 Mishna 6: Live and Breath Torah

"Rabbi Yishmael bar Rabbi Yosi says, 'One who studies Torah in order to teach is given the means to study and to teach; and one who studies in order to practice is given the means to study and to teach, to observe and to practice'"

The first part of the Mishna tells us that one who studies Torah in order to teach is given t e means to study and to teach. Does this mean that they don't practice what they learn  and implement it into their everyday lives?

Absolutely not! Rabbenu Yonah here explains that when they learn and teach they don't do it to their fullest capacity. This means they are able to learn and even teach others but they don't delve deeply enough to find out if there are forbidden things they may be doing.

They take what they learn at face value and don't get very far. It is interesting to note that the knowledge they receive from their dedication to learning is able to be given over to others, albeit at a relatively superficial level. This is why the Mishna tells us that they will only be able to study and teach but not to observe and practice.

The second part of the Mishna explains that the learning that is done to be able to practice is on a much higher level. These people learn for the sake of the truth and are willing to spend hours upon hours to understand even a small point.

The most important things in their lives is to learn to derive the absolute truth so they can implement these ideas into their lives. We see from here there are different ways in which a person can learn.

One way is to learn and understand to the best of our ability. This does not take into account accountability of any kind and at best is superficial. The goal is not to get to the absolute truth but to put some effort in but not too much. It is not like these type of people would  be bothered by a question that would keep them up all night

These type of people will never be the rabbinic scholars of the next generation; they will be the pretenders to the throne. Only those willing to be bothered and dig deeper when they have a question and cannot find a satisfactory answer will be the future Torah leaders. They will turn over the world until they find what they are looking for and will not rest until they have satisfactorily answered their burning question.

People like that will grow into great Torah scholars which will lead to actions based on what they learn. The will  disseminate the Torah to the masses, inspiring them to keep the high standard the Torah has set for us. We then have to live up to those standards and be receptacles and implement these timeless words into our everyday life.