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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 25, 2014

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 4: ;Mishna 8: Honor the Torah or be Disgraced by it

"Rabbi Yosi said, 'Whoever honors the Torah will himself be honored by men; whoever dishonors the Torah will himself be dishonored by men".

The Torah itself has kept the Jewish people together throughout the millennia. By its laws, ethics and teachings, the Jewish people have survived without a land of their own being dispersed around the world amongst the nations.

The ones who keep it properly and are G-d's ambassadors to the world have a tremendous responsibility of making sure that it is taught properly and not distorted. Therefore the Mishna here tells us that one who honors Torah in the end will be honored by it.

Honoring Torah can mean not placing holy books on the floor or sitting on a chair or bench that has Torah books on them. It can also mean that a person stands up when the Torah is being taken out of the ark to be read from.

We can also honor Torah by honoring rabbinic scholars and others who observe Torah. These people are the guardians of G-d's wisdom and ceaselessly work to teach and inspire others!

These people are the ones that live by its ideals and go beyond the letter of the law to uphold its teachings. The Torah will give testimony to this and will honor these people in their lifetimes.

This does not mean they will be rich or powerful but others will get the message that these people are different than everyone else. In the ideal sense, they are G-d's patrons who will be looked up to by others.

The Mishna should not be misunderstood that the reason we learn Torah and hold by its ideals is because we will get honor by it later. We live Torah because we believe it is the will of G-d and this is what He wants from us.

The Torah can change us as we internalize its ideals and make them part of our everyday life. When we do that, then others will take notice and G-d's name will be sanctified.

If we don't do this and give the Torah lip service so-to-speak, then will be dishonored by the Torah. If people G-d forbid, do not live by its laws, make fun of others that do...they in the end will be disgraced.

This punishment is measure for measure. The one who doesn't take Torah seriously or makes fun of its followers, in the end will come to be dishonored as well. As mentioned previously, the Torah is the life-force that has kept the Jewish people alive throughout the centuries as they suffered anti-Semitic pogroms and holocausts!

"The Torah is a tree of life to those that grab a hold of it". If we don't want it or we make fun of others that keep it, then we ourselves will be disgraced because of it! The Torah has the ability to transform us; the flip side is that go away from it and scoff at those that keep it. This will lead them to a path of destruction!