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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 5, 2015

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 5 Mishna 19: What Jewish Marriage is all About

"All love which depends on sensual attraction will pass away as soon as the sensual attraction disappears, but if it is not dependent on sensual attraction, it will never pass away. Which love was dependent on sensual attraction? The love of Amnon and Tamar. And which depended on nothing selfish? The love of David and Jonathan"

There is a difference between love and infatuation. Infatuation is something that is fleeting and will not last because once it disappears, then it is gone. Love is something that lasts forever if it is harnessed properly and worked on. This is the way marriage works and has been successful throughout the millennium in the orthodox Jewish community.

When a man meets a woman for the sake of marriage, they need to see if they are compatible and that their life goals are the same. After a number of meetings they will get engaged and prepare for the wedding. After they are married, that is when the real work starts and that is where love will develop. Don't you need love to make the marriage work at the outset?

The answer is that you have to be attracted to your spouse and see them before one is married. Love will develop and if the marriage is strong, no matter what trials and tribulations they will go through then it will last. Marriage, though is something that always needs strengthening. It is like a flower, if you don't water it and take care of it, then it will surely die.

People sometimes feel that the system of dating in the orthodox world seems to be outdated and strange, at best but if we look deeper then we are able to see the beauty in it and why it has been so successful. The main reason that men and women are separated in schools and other things is because these friendships with physical contact always seem to get in the way.

This is why when they date, it is not just about having fun but rather to meet your soul mate, dedicating yourselves to them and vice versa. This can only occur when they are ready for such a relationship. Anything before that is antithetical to Torah and clearly doesn't work as statistics have shown.

At the same time,  if a marriage doesn't work out and cannot be saved then there is a mitzvah to get divorced. This is unfortunate and can happen but when we look at the bigger picture, the divorce rate in the orthodox community is minuscule compared to the greater world.

Another reason that marriages are so successful is because of family purity laws. This means that neither can treat the other like an object because there are certain times during the month where they cannot be together so there must be a deeper bond there! That also means that after being separated and coming together again rejuvenates the marriage and keeps it strong.

Both factors combined lead to a happy vibrant marriage which the secular world has no clue about! it has worked over the centuries and will continue throughout the generations. When it is used properly and implemented then we see the results, otherwise a person is just subject to their evil inclination and will end with infatuation rather than true love!