By Sarah Schweitz

Based on Parashat Eikev

As a child of four, my parent and I were hiding in the Greek countryside to save ourselves from the Nazis.  Fifty members of our family were captured but by the grace of God and the help of a righteous gentile, we escaped.  We spent a year and a half in the Greek mountains.  Food was scarce and we were hungry all the time.  My father used to recite this passage from Parashat Eikev, “Man does not live by bread alone, but with whatever God can provide”.

We were eating fruits and vegetables and drinking chamomile tea.  Water was available but not bread.  Wild flowers of every color, fruits, and the aroma of chamomile, sage, and oregano compensated for the lack of bread.  Everyday my parents recited the Birkat Hamazon after our exotic consumption of food.  My parents’ devotion to tradition kept our faith during these difficult times.  My parents were reassuring me that God would send us some bread.  A miracle happened, God provided us with bread.  We recited the Shehecheyanu, Hamotsi, and Birkat Hamazon.

It left a lasting grateful memory.  I can hear my father’s voice, “Sarah, remember how we survived.  “Yes Papa, by the grace of God”.


  1. Shira Bensimon & Allison Firestein April 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Thank you,… Dear Sarah for sharing your marvelous story with us. Yes, by the Grace of God we have the privilege to know you. Allison and I think you’re so sweet and kind to everyone. Lovinly Shira and Allie
    PS We love hearing you sing, Like an Angel!!!!! XXOOXXOO
    We also love hearing all your stories!!!!
    See you at Temple

  2. Elizabeth V morrow April 15, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    It is so true that it is by the Grace of God that we live, that we thrive, that we survive and in spite of having been hurt that we Love!

    The strength of your parents was your strength, their endurance your endurance, their wisdom your wisdom, their protection your protection, their survival your survival. God doesn’t act alone, there is no abstract God, there is God working within us and however mentions His name and does no good, doesn’t have God within himself/herself. It is just mentioning his name in vain!

    So, when we say God we better mean it. You had the experience of His Presence through your parents – this was the Grace of God.