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The Blessings, Lessons & Challenges of life with BPAN

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The barometer of a healthy society

I’ve recently returned from my first visit to Poland. Poland was home to vibrant Jewish communities for 1000 years. Over three million Jews lived there before the Holocaust; fewer than 20 000 remain there today. We explored the beautiful remnants of those ancient communities and visited the resting places of their spiritual leaders. We also…

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Stress relief

Of course, it happened on a Friday. And not just any Friday, an unusually busy Friday. We were just hours away from a three-day Jewish marathon- Shabbos leading straight into two days of the festival of Shavuot. We needed Shaina to see her doctor before we’d be offline for three days over the weekend. One…

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You’re always so positive

It happened again this week. Someone wanted to know, “How do you always stay so positive?”  I’m sorry to disappoint the fanbase, but I’m neither a saint nor superhuman. I don’t “always” “stay” positive. I actually think both of those words are barriers to positivity. If we expect to “always” be in a good space, we make it worse…

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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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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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