Honoring the Sabbath

This weekend we are staying with relatives since we are back in our hometown. We are here for the weekend, because our family is giving us a baby shower this Sunday. Although they love us and love Hashem, they do not honor the Sabbath. This always presents some difficulty. Today is Shabbat and we just ran into this dilemma. Being in someone else’s home, we are not in control of what takes place. It is always a delicate balance of honoring Torah and being careful to not be a stumbling block to those whom might eventually find validity in Torah. With this situation in mind, I am very proud of my five-year-old son right now.

Just a little while ago our host just told us that they were going to order pizzas for lunch and wanted to know what kind we wanted. Privately, I told them that we would be happy eating leftovers from the night before, because we felt that spending money on the Sabbath would not be honoring the Lord. They responded that there were no leftovers and they had not bought groceries, so they would need to get something anyway. I dropped the issue in order not to be an offense.

A few minutes later, my son overheard them talking about leaving to go pick up the pizza. He told them, “We don’t have to go get anything. We can eat leftovers.” They responded by telling him that there weren’t any leftovers. His response was, “Well, we can just eat some crackers or something. It’s ok.” I wasn’t sure if he was just being accommodating or if he actually was conscious of it being the Sabbath and was trying to gently deter a loved one from unknowingly breaking the Sabbath.

A little while later I pulled him to the side to ask him why he was making those comments. His response was, “Because we’re not supposed to be buying things on the Sabbath.” Not only had he did his best to help another person honor the mitzvah, but he had done it in such a way that would not bring shame upon them. Maybe in the next year or so these words of his will move their hearts to honor Hashem in this area. For now, I am blessed to know my son is on his way to being shomer Shabbat.

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