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Shaina’s Brocha

The Blessings, Lessons & Challenges of life with BPAN

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Happiness is… imperfection

I’m a recovering perfectionist. Many of us are obsessive pedants, paralysed by the need to have things “just right”. We are often useless at delegation because we worry that nobody else can do the job as well as we can. And we don’t enjoy our successes because we’re too busy fretting that they’re not as…

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Does she feel pain?

We started our morning today with our new unpleasant weekly ritual: To give Shaina an injection. You betcha she doesn’t like it, but she doesn’t cry. Today, after Naomi administered the shot, Shaina looked at me and announced, “It’s sore”. I wasn’t sure if I should whoop or cry. The only thing worse than seeing…

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Stump the doctor

Shaina staggered out of bed last Friday. Over twenty-five years of parenting, we’ve guided our fair share of zombified children to their beds. We’ve never had to steer one from her bed. Had any of our other children lurched drunkenly into the living room, we might have chuckled. Not with Shaina.  My mind raced from zero to…

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Mirror, mirror on the wall…

I’ve never been into gazing into the mirror. In my youth, I had no patience for it. Now, I have no appetite. What’s there to see, anyway? Since Shaina’s diagnosis, the looking glass shows me the grey strands in my beard and the stress lines across my brow. I don’t always recognise the weary eyes…

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Hi, I’m Rabbi Ari Shishler, husband to Naomi and father of eight wonderful children (ka”h).

Shaina is our youngest child. She has brought our family unique blessings, as her condition has brought us unique challenges.

Naomi & I founded and run the Chabad Strathavon Jewish Life Centre in Sandton, South Africa.

I am a passionate teacher, who tries to use every medium- writing, blogging, social media, video, lectures, radio etc. – to make spiritual ideals tangible. These days, much of my teaching centres on lessons we’re learning from our journey with Shaina.

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