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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.

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Saturday, December 10, 2005

More Updates

I'm heading out west to see my brother in the morning so I wanted to put up another update and share a few of my thoughts before I go.

First the update:
Thursday was quite a rollercoaster of emotion of myself and my family. We went from being concerned about the surgery, to worry over how poorly it was going, to sadness that we were losing him to euphoria when after being unhooked from life support for the last time his heart miraculous started to beat again!

All his vitals have remained stable over Shabbos. He was able to shake his head yes and no to questions and to squeeze the doctor's hand when asked. They've returned him to deep sedation to allow him to rest and are keeping him intubated at least until tomorrow. It's going to be a long recovery but so far so good. I'll give his had a squeeze from all of you when I see him.

Now a few thoughts:
Loyal readers will know I have mixed feeling about asking people to say tehillim for someone.
Beyond that, although I love helping people, it's a real weakness of mine that I don't like to ASK for help.
In addition to that I've tried to keep my real identity hidden because I don't think I'm brave/confident/stupid/fearless/whatever enough to blog with my identity revealed.

So what do these three things have in common? They all made posting my brother's hebrew name here on the blog seem like a bad/risky idea to me.
I didn't know what to do - then Trep- a very, very good man made the decision for me and posted my brother's hebrew name in the comments section. A decision I knew right away was the right one.

B'H my brother's name has traveled all over the place through the internet, over the phone, in shuls all over the place. I've heard that tehillim was said for him under the chuppah at wedding in NY! So it seems inevitable that my identity will not be a secret much longer.
Don't get too excited now, I'm no one special, just a regular woman with regular problems, a regular family, and a regular job. I just worry about keeping that "regular" lifestyle if people find out I'm a blogger. So I'll have to think about what the next step is for me.
In the meantime I'll be away until Thursday night without internet or email access (no, I will not be in Lakewood, but close enough...) but I will call OM with updates that she can post here on my blog so I don't leave all of you hanging until them.

I wish you all a shavuah tov- and I'll let you know what I've decided about the blog next week.



At 9:49 PM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Yes, Trep definitly made the right decision.

I'm sure everyone here will respect whatever you decide to do about the blog.

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Eliyahu said...

nice to hear good news...as to the blog, well, it's a wonderful tool for self-expression, and it has feedback from your readers! that could be addictive, and it's social, too. you would miss it, not to mention us. you could come back as another blogger, like GH, only for real. may you be blessed with a safe journey, and don't forget to ask if we can do anything. maybe that's your lesson from this. may your brother have a rapid and complete healing. and the blog, whatever.

At 10:53 PM, Blogger Lab Rab said...

may your brother have a rapid and complete healing. and the blog, whatever.

That's the bottom line from my perspective as well. As someone who believes in the power of prayer, I know that publishing your brother's hebrew name contributed to his recovery. If the upshot is that so many people are davening for your brother that they can put two and two together about you - everyone here would choose your brother's health over the perpetuation of this blog every single time.

But that's something that you can work out later. Tzeischem leshalom and let's hear besoros tovos.

At 11:13 PM, Blogger Mar Gavriel said...


I'm sure that there's still a way to keep your identity secret. There have been one or two times when TMI was given out about me (in various other people's blogs), and eventually, I found it, and told the readers to remove it. Most of the blogosphere does not know my identity.

When your brother gets well, you can remove Trep's comment. But in the meantime, I care about your brother's health. I do not particularly care about the identity of the RL personality who stands behind your blog.

At 3:09 AM, Blogger Ezzie said...

I'm sincerely hoping that nobody would be so much of a jerk as to expose your identity (for the sake of doing so) by taking advantage of your brother's name being posted. Of course, those who out bloggers are ****s to begin with...

Refuah shleimah to your brother, and may your identity remain confidential. In order of importance.

Great to hear he's improving, I'm sure you will keep us updated.

As Jameel commented on my blog (after I mentioned your bro in my roundup) - The 'round the world tehillim campaign for Shifra's brother was probably one of the meaningful uses I've seen of the JBlogsphere.

May he be zocheh to a Refuah Shelayma, and we be zocheh to use blogging to advance the positive things in life.

At 10:08 AM, Blogger Mar Gavriel said...

Of course, those who out bloggers are ****s to begin with...

I wonder what letter the asterisks were supposed to replace. Perhaps Amshi knows.

At 10:38 AM, Blogger treppenwitz said...

Shifra... It honestly never occurred to me that a) you wouldn't want people to say tehillim for your brother (or just say his name with good positive thoughts in their mind); and b) people would be able to figure out from his (and your mother's) Hebrew name who you are. Granted the names are not the typical generic 'Menachem Mendel Ben Mushka'... but still, anyone who was familiar with your family's Hebrew names would also likely know that you had a brother going through a medical crisis.

I apologize for taking away your prerogative, but I am a big believer in the power of prayer after seeing first hand how it saved the life of a soldier who had been given zero chance of survival.

I hope your brother continues to achieve important milestones in his recovery... and I hope you will forgive me for acting without your consent.

At 10:55 AM, Blogger Mar Gavriel said...

typical generic 'Menachem Mendel Ben Mushka'...

That's "typical"? Not in my community.

But still, anyone who was familiar with your family's Hebrew names would also likely know that you had a brother going through a medical crisis.

Isn't that the whole point? Such people could put two and two together, and figure out the identity of an otherwise anonymous blogger.

But don't worry. We're not upset at you.

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

trep -- you did good.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger Ezzie said...

MG - I actually just meant the **** generically, but I'm sure someone like Amshi could come up with something. ;)

At 2:58 PM, Anonymous seebee said...

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Just Passing Through said...

Perhaps I was rash in posting the name on my blog. Just say the word and I'll take it down (not too many people will see it there anyway).

At 7:02 PM, Blogger chuck said...

dear shifra
whats the big deal
i know you wanted anonymity
but you did nothing wrong by blogging
there were no heavy details to ashamed of
please keep the blog!


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