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Shaina’s Brocha

The Blessings, Lessons & Challenges of life with BPAN

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Kindness across the ocean

You never know where kindness will lead. When we first launched Shaina’s kindness campaign, our goal was to bring light and meaning to a very challenging experience. We wanted Shaina to be celebrated as a force for good rather than “that poor girl”. The first sign that we were headed in the right direction came…

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Would you like fries with that?

Want to insult a Jewish mother? Turn down a second helping of dinner.While other moms fret if you don’t make your bed or fold your laundry, Yiddishe mamas only want to make sure you are well fed. A Jewish mother whose child won’t eat properly goes into anxiety overdrive. Food has become a big issue…

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Born on the right day

You know what they say about mother’s instincts… Dial the clock back to late 2014, when a couple from our community asked me to marry them in Cape Town the following April. Cape Town is gorgeous, one of my favourite places on Earth. My answer was a resounding “Yes!”- any excuse for a visit to…

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Speaking to the Great Professor

I will admit to feeling high levels of stress and anxiety yesterday. Thankfully, I remembered the story of the Professor of Hanipoli.  Shaina started coughing (again) earlier this week. A visit to her pulmonologist confirmed what we had suspected: a viral chest and ear infection. We left with a shopping list for the pharmacy and…

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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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