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Shaina’s Brocha

The Blessings, Lessons & Challenges of life with BPAN

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Thawing out in the New York winter

New York offered an icy welcome when I landed there last Monday. My daughters tell me the mercury dropped as I stepped off the plane. Frosty as the weather was, I looked forward to a warm experience at the annual Kinus conference.  Or did I? This trip to New York would stir up past traumas…

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Pre-flight jitters

In a few hours, I will please G-d fly off to New York for the annual “Kinus” conference of Chabad rabbis. Historically, that would have excited me. Considering I haven’t been there since 2019, I anticipated being pumped for this inspiration-filled mega reunion. Instead, it has triggered a series of unanticipated memories and emotions.  Perhaps,…

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Seeing life the right way

“It must be an issue with her left eye.” Shaina’s teachers and therapists all seemed to be in agreement. We had been sitting in Leah, the school principal’s office. Being called into the principal’s office is daunting for a child. It is overwhelming to be there to hear an assessment of your special needs child’s…

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Passport Blues

Applying for a passport doesn’t rank too high on the fun scale. When your child defiantly sprawls herself on the floor while an official drawls on about the sluggishness of her computer, you need a stiff vodka. Hey, here’s an idea: Alcohol dispensers at government offices. Okay, that might be irresponsible. How about Xanax? We…

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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.

Stay in touch with Shaina’s news and updates.