What was one to do when homebound due to Covid-19’s self-quarantine a couple years ago? Many filled their newfound free time by playing cards, working on jigsaw puzzles, trying out new recipes or Facetiming/ Skyping with family and friends. A few even reluctantly cleaned out and organized their rooms or houses. Sara Smith Hymowitz chose to write a book.
Sara was inspired to take action by her dear friend, Kelle, who passed away five years ago. Kelle had been pressing Sara to write a book about her Holocaust experiences and colorful life. Sara, a second generation Holocaust survivor, grew up in an Orthodox home in Netanya, Israel until age six. When she graduated from high school at age 16, she had dreams of applying to law school but her father was adamant that she marry and have children instead. At age 17, she was compelled into an arranged marriage.
When she later divorced, and moved to New York, Sara struggled, “having no money and a 9 month old baby.” She lived with her brother and worked as a receptionist in the garment center. She worked for a T-shirt company where she advanced from receptionist to sales. How this came about is one of her favorite stories. She said, “There were no computers years ago, only a “Blue Book” that was used for sales information. She was told to call and set a few sales appointments and because she reads Hebrew which is read from left to right, Sara started with names at the back of the book. Her finger scrolled down to one of the many names she didn’t know and so she called “Sam Walton.” When the phone answered, she asked the secretary to speak to “Sam”; It turned out that Sam actually took the call, intrigued by the initiative and innocence of Sara. Sam Walton, the billionaire American business magnate best known for founding the retailers Walmart and Sam’s Club, flew Sara to Arkansas. She said, “He gave me my first order. He put me in business and then gave me many orders.” Sara’s business grew, and she eventually became the CEO of the Great American Sweater Company. She said, “As I was busy hiring, traveling and being “wined and dined” by corporates directors, my marriage suffered.” She worked very hard at her job and explained, “At work, we were like one big family. In years, no one ever resigned.”
Sara feels that writing her book was therapeutic for her. Entitled “Silent Fighter” with the subtitle, “Come as You are You Can Change Inside,” the book bears witness to the difficult lives of her parents and grandparents in Europe during the Holocaust. Sara said that while most children were told soothing stories and happy-ending fairy tales, her bedtime stories were quite the opposite. She said, “My grandmother put me to bed every night with stories of her experiences at Auschwitz.” She added, “This book speaks to those raised hearing the traumatic experiences of what their previous generation endured.” Sara said, “I survived. I became less religious and more spiritual.” She added, “No one has ever invented a scale that measures a person’s trauma.” Sara now meditates daily and uses crystals which she believes promotes the flow of good energy and helps rid the body and mind of negative energy for physical and emotional benefits.
“This book is my life,” Sara said. She feels that writing it has been a way for her to “look at trauma and take down the wall, brick by brick.” She feels that her stories don‘t just speak to Jewish victims of the Holocaust but to everyone, anywhere who has been enslaved. She described the Western Wall in the Holy Land, also known as “The Wailing Wall” in Jerusalem, and how she had observed Arabs on one side, Muslims on another, and Jews, yet all peaceful. “Why can’t we all just live together like that?’ she questioned.
Sara wants her book to inspire others as she has tried to teach her children, Brad, Marita, David and Heather and her grandchildren Dylan, Jordan, and Ava, the importance of education and taking care of those people who are less privileged. She is carrying out what she teaches: she has 11 charities, and a handbag business named after her parents with goods made in the USA in which all proceeds are given to charity. She is also donating all profits from her speaking engagements and from her book. Sara said, “I want to help people who have less. I want to change lives, one life at a time.”
Sara Smith Hymowitz is an Award-Winning Author, motivational Speaker, and Coach. The book is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and Walmart.com. SilentFighterBook@gmail.com www.silentfighterbook.com