Questions I've been avoiding Part 2
It's a little known fact that only about one out of every ten "Ask Shifra" questions I receive at firstname.lastname@example.org get answered here on the blog.
There is a method to my madness:
Most often the question's author asks me to not answer the question online because it is too personal, too revealing, or because I already know who they are (at least online.)
The second most common reason is that I don't feel equipped to answer the question. I do respond to all my non-spam email (eventually) but some topics are just over my head.
Gerus (or conversion to Judaism) is one of those topics. I get a lot of questions on that topic but I consider it out of my depth. It is difficult for me to get my mind around the idea of leaving everything you know and immersing yourself into a totally foreign lifestyle. It's difficult for me to give advice because my instinct is always to tell the writer NOT to do it - and that might be pretty hard to hear once a person has made a decision that this is what he/she really wants to do and is just looking for some support.
Another question I can't answer is "Should I break up with my girlfriend/boyfriend?"
As detailed as your email might be there are two sides to every story - I don't know you and I don't know your significant other so it's really impossible for me to assess the situation fairly. That said, if you are already at the point of asking a stranger over the internet if you should break up with someone you know intimately the answer is probably yes.
Beauty tips are also not my area of expertise - no, I don't know if a buzz cut would look good on you but odds are the answer is "no" and also "are you for real?"
Oh and for the last time I will NOT be answering questions about the halachik implications of wanking. Email Gil or something. I'm not a Rav or a posek or priest who takes confession, or a 900 number.
Last are the kind of questions that are not really questions at all - just sad stories.
But if you need someone to listen that's something I can do too... Sometimes it's good to get things out in writing. It allows you to look at your life from a new angle or to release some of what you've been feeling in a constructive way.
Well now you've had a behind the scenes peek at what it's like to be "ask shifra" but don't let that stop you from sending in your questions, whether I can answer them "online" or not it's my pleasure to help out where I can.