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Ask Shifra

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

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A Wonderful Suggestion

NCO Chossid writes:

I suggest, humbly, that there is another change you could make that would make this blog a central hub of the j-blogosphere and simultaneously create an immense amount of good. It is an idea I have broached to you before.Use your talents of eitzah, empathy and active listening to create a shalom bayis blog. Allow people to blow a little steam. Respond with your softness. Point out common sensical options to a husband who can only see his own misery. Give a wife chizuk. Discuss the place of communication therapies. Allow people to get a feeling for when rough talk becomes emotional abuse. Allow people to realize that their specific problems are not unique to them. Comfort the bruised.You may object that you are hardly an expert on shalom bayis matters. That may or may not be so, but in this context it makes little difference. As a blogger, you are simply aggregating the information that comes to you. You have the intelligence and the honesty to separate the wheat from the chaff, and the creativity and wit to turn that wheat into fresh-baked challos.Perhaps you would not want to do it alone. Perhaps you could partner with someone such as RenReb or one of those noble women at Mayim Rabim [or perhaps even male bloggers, such as S. or Ezzie]. Perhaps you would need only guest posts from them. In any case, a shalom bayis blog done well is an idea whose time has come and I think you could do it well.

NCO- thank you so much for your faith in me. Your Challah metaphore made my day!
When I started this blog helping people was one of my main objectives. Since that time people have written to me for advice both on and off line and I've tried to help where I can.

If people want to write in with their Sholom Bayis issues, or anything that troubles them I would be absolutely honored to help or advise in anyway I can.
I am also blessed to have many commentors with all kinds of interesting and different perspectives so that people can see things from more than one angle.
Any emails sent to me will be kept in the strictest confidence and I will never reveal the name (or even the screenname) of someone who seeks my advice without their express permission.

As for making my blog a "hub" I'm not exactly sure how that can be accomplished but I am open to suggestions. As always thanks to you NCO and all my readers for their support!



At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for making my blog a "hub" I'm not exactly sure how that can be accomplished

Well, partly by making your posts on this subject cogent and on target [and honest, always honest]; and partly by making it entertaining [and you have a lot to work with in this topic].

(You can get a lot of great advice on either one of these from the semi-retired Godol HaDor, who I am sure would be happy to help you. E-mail him)

You can also do a little blog-style advertising, i.e. searching the blogosphere for persons interested in shalom bayis discussions and commenting there with a link to your site. [I would also grab the names "shalombayis.blogspot.com" and "shalombayit.blogspot.com" and after they are yours, have them direct automatically to AskShifra, if that is possiible.]

Also, you might want to poll other bloggers that you are familiar with on a specific question and post the results. For example, in American Orthodox Jewish society, what is the minimum definition of shalom bayis? What is still considered a minimally functioning marriage? What is a minimally "happy" or "good" marriage? Are these reasonable questions? If not, why not?

You might also want to set certain rules for civil discourse [as R' Gil Student does] because it's the right thing to do and so as not to turn off some of your readers . For example, you may want to put certain limits on Rabbi-bashing. In my opinion, you could have a fantastic blog while still remaining within the bounds of full shemiras haloshon [with a liberal definition of to'eles], and of course that would be a bracha for everyone. However, I realize that that may not be a popular view.

Since you are interested in making some appearance and layout changes to your blogtop anyway, perhaps you could roll that out the same day you begin this new focus [or this added focus]. At that point, you may want to have six or seven good, rabble-rousing posts ready to go for the next few days.

If you always write about issues that fascinate you, and you are always honest, and you let Shifra be Shifra, you'll do great.

At 7:26 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

All right, some confessions... I've almost never been here before - maybe 2-3 times. I decided to all of a sudden because... I don't know why. And I stumble on this post, in which NCO Chassid (whom I had almost no clue knew who I was) suggests my name.

I think NCO's ideas are really wonderful: I'd love any opportunity to help you, if you'd like. One major aspect of my blogging experience that has been lacking is the helping others aspect, and that has been bothering me quite a bit. A primary reason I enjoy doing the roundups that I started recently is the way in which it "helps" other blogs get noticed and read, along with just getting some entertaining/enlightening ideas out to the general Jewish public.

But doing something like this might accomplish so much more. If you do decide to do anything along these lines, and need/want any help, I'd be thrilled to.

Now, it's time to start coming here more often...


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