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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 17, 2015

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 5 Mishna 25: The Torah is not Obsolete!

"Ben Bag Bag said: "Study Torah again and again, for everything is contained in it; constantly examine it, grow old and gray over it, and swerve not from it, for there is nothing more excellent than it"

The Mishna seems obvious here. Don't we already know how much effort it takes to learn Torah? Isn't the only way to grasp it properly is to constantly review, do some more review and then review again some more? What is the novelty here that the Mishna is trying to teach us?

The Chida explains that as we saw from the previous Mishna, a person will be learning Torah from a very young age, learning Chumash, then Mishna, then Gemara... That being the case, they will think that when they get older they will have already "learned" Torah so they can study other things like philosophy, the arts...This is definitely not the case!

The Torah is limitless in its understanding and depth and it is foolish to think that after studying it for years that we have mastered it! Even the greatest scholars find new things in the Torah that they learn, continually striving and making innovations in their learning! Obviously this is easier said than done!

If you have someone who has learned a particular tractate of Talmud many many times, the novelty is that when they learn it again, they look at it as if they have never seen it and work their way through. This is truly amazing when we think about it because the reality is that you have built up ideas over the years and have thought and rethought them and now you look at everything as a clean slate starting from scratch? This is amazing but that is the power of Torah!

One example is after Simchas Torah we start the Chumash from the beginning of Genesis. Don't we know about creation and the story of the flood...about Avraham, the binding of Isaac...Yes we do but there are so many levels a person can learn at that the Torah always looks fresh and we always have something to gain. We also based on our learning, understanding and life experience look at these parshiot differently year to year!

Torah is something that is difficult to grasp and takes a great deal of time understanding it's precepts. This is why regardless of how much you have learned when you were younger, you will learn it at a totally different depth when you are older!

The Mishna also tells us that there is nothing greater than the learning Torah. Some may say that there is also other wisdom out there so how can we be prejudiced and only learn Torah? The answer is that Torah is the only thing that stands the test of time when it comes to its teachings and morality. There is nothing else out there in the world that addresses all issues that a person will possibly go through in their lifetime.

It is as relevant today as it was two thousand years ago; we just have to know how to tap into it and make it a part of our lives! The reality is that since we live in such a high tech ever changing world, we need G-d today more than ever! We see a world that has taken G-d out of the picture and has tried to make athiests out of all of us.

This is what the Greeks have left for us, trying to show that what we can't understand must mean that it isn't true. They also gave us a world that is saturated with the worship of the body and going after our own desires. As Torah continues to stand the test of time, we have utilize it to the best of our ability and continue implementing its timely messages!