When Even Lunch Has Meaning

One of my teenage sons has been sick with the flu for over a week. As he started feeling better, I offered to take him to lunch the day before he returned to school. I told him that we could go to the Hamama, a cute little restaurant inside the gates of Kfar Etzion where he’s never been, or we could go to The Winery, a restaurant right off of Tzomet HaGush where he’s been many times.

When we got into the car and I turned to him to get the verdict, he said, “I think we should go to The Winery because, you know, it’s not inside a community. It’s on the main road. And I bet that a lot of people aren’t going there right now, and they need our business.”

And in that moment, I knew that his Zionist soul was deeply rooted.

One of the main reasons that we live in Israel, and that we see this Land as so special, is that it offers our children a way to be part of something larger than themselves. We want them to have lives that are tied to the thousands of years of our people and to their Homeland. Lives that are bigger than they are.

My son’s statement showed me so loudly, so clearly, that they are getting it. This is not to say that I’m enjoying living with terror or that I’m blind to the toll that this terror must be taking on the psychology of the people I’m raising.

But it is to say that I’m in awe of my son.

I’m in awe of the boy who has been sick for over a week and finally has the chance to go out to lunch, and who makes the decision based on what is better for the nation, for Gush Etzion, for the economy around him rather than where he would like to go.

It’s not always easy to make sure that kids are internalizing the messages we hope to convey.

This one little incident took my breath away.

Because this kid gets it. He sees how he’s part of something larger and how the simple act of eating lunch and spending money can have an impact beyond his own stomach and desires.

And for a 13 year old to internalize that is awe-inspiring.

About the Author
Romi Sussman is a teacher and writer. When she's not at her computer, she's juggling raising six boys ages 11-22 and conquering daily life as an Olah. She enjoys blogging here and on her personal blog at