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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 3, 2015

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 5 Mishna 23: Serving G-d Properly and not Blaming others for our Actions

"Yehudah ben Tema said: 'Be bold as a leopard, light as an eagle, swift as a deer, and strong as a lion, to do the will of your Father who is in heaven. He used to say: The impudent is destined for gehinnom but the shamefaced is destined for paradise'". 

All these character traits are important so that one will be able to do the will of their Creator. One who for example is swift as a deer runs to do mitzvos and is constantly aware of his obligations in this world. He wants to do the right thing and will do whatever it takes to do so.

This is an important character trait to have because they are acting on their desire to serve G-d properly. Although we may have this desire, we sometimes get distracted and don't do what we need to The yetzer hara (evil inclination) works hard at keeping us busy with other things so that we focus less on Torah and mitzos!!

This is why we also have to be as strong as a lion. We need to put all our effort in keeping the Torah and doing G-d's will and work hard to stay at that level! It also means that we have to keep our bodies strong and in good shape so we can accomplish these goals. If a person is not healthy or doesn't keep a healthy lifestyle then that will hinder a person in reaching their potential because they will be incapable of doing so.

Even if in our mind we know what the right thing is, we have to put that into our hearts so we can actualize it. It cannot be emphasized enough that we need to have this desire on a daily basis so we can serve Him to the best of our ability. Through perseverance and hard work we will reach this goal!

The next part of the Mishna speaks about people that are brazen who end up in gehinnom. The commentaries tell us a person is brazen because they come from a forbidden union. Either the child was conceived through an adulterous union or where the parents did not keep the marital purity laws. Even a person who comes from such unions, is there no way to break out of this or does this follow them their whole lives?

Although Freud is not so in vogue today Judaism believes that even if one has a certain disposition whether they are born with it or for other reasons, they don't have to act on it. In other words, if a person's father was a killer and his father was a killer does not mean the grandson has to be one! Even if there is a hereditary, it is just something else a person has to work on,

They may have that disposition but we are obligated to work on bad character traits even if we may have inherited them. This means that no matter what we do we have to take responsibility for our actions regards as to what the cause of them may be. This is a tremendous lesson for us to remember!

We can't blame others for our socioeconomic circumstances; we have to take responsibility for our actions. This means that even if we have certain bad character traits that may have been inherited from our parents, we have to work hard to rectify them and not go in that direction. Although that may be difficult, this is the path that G-d has given us to reach the potential we all have!