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”.