Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I-Connect

My son started working on the I-Connect program in Sunday School yesterday. It's designed to teach the kids about Israel and to encourage them to feel more connected to the land and the people.

I asked Evan if he had enjoyed the program.

"Yes, Mom," he said in that way that older children have of indicating that you're interrupting their deepest thoughts and most involved activity.

"Oh good!" I said. "Do you want to go to Israel now?"

Now, don't forget, Evan has always said that he wants to go visit Israel because he says that's where his "people" are.

"I don't think so," he said.

"Oh???" I was shocked.

"Those other people that live there? The different ones? They're scary."

My son has finally learned about Palenstinians.

I found that incredibly sad in a way....his innocence, his childhood, his ability to see the good in everyone, to see past a skin color or a religious label...all gone.

And on top of that, now he's afraid of Israel and going there.

"Well, Evan that's just a few radical people. Not all Arabs or Palestinians are like that. You have to remember that," I assured him.

He looked at me skeptically. "I am still not going. They'll KILL me!"

Very interesting development. On one hand, I don't want him to be afraid of the world or his place in it. On the other, I certainly want him to be aware, as a Jew, of the potential dangers out there. I also want him as a human being to try to overcome those dangers while still being very comfortable with himself.

Very interesting.

Whatever happened to those "tough" questions about puberty?????

(cross posted at Matzah and Marinara)

4 comments:

Another meshugannah mommy said...

It’s always hard to watch your kid learn that there are people who hate us because of our religion. Myself, I have skirted the issue because I think they’re too young (6 and 3). I think you handled the issue very, very well. I hope I can do the same.

Z said...

You're right, it IS extremely difficult. And you're also right...there is a time when it's TOO soon. I figured I'd hang until HE wanted to discuss it. I admit, I was floored. He has always had such a close affinity for Israel...loved it, loved the food, the people...always planned on going there, ALONE, he would tell me. I am hopeful as he grows and matures this will change too. Half the time I expect him to just sign up for the IDF and have at it :)

Another meshugannah mommy said...

Well, I went when I was 16. My parents sent me on a youth group summer program. I'd highly recommend the experience. It's hard to believe that it has been twenty years when I was last in Israel. I am actually ashanmed of that fact...

Z said...

I have always intended he go either on a Birthright trip or with other similarly challenged individuals when he is old enough...I still hope he'll want to. One thing with Ev, if he doesn't want to...he aint :)