Man Plans, God Laughs


Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht” is an old Yiddish adage, “Man Plans, and God Laughs.” Adults assume the best-laid plans may be unhinged by unexpected changes, which can be either disappointing or exhilarating.  Personal setbacks, losses of loved ones, illnesses, accidents or broken hearts are not uncommon. On the other hand, fate can bring unanticipated good fortune. We just don’t know what we will find around the next corner.  Despite possible adversity, we are urged to think positively. Experience advises us that setbacks and tragedies, like comfort and prosperity, are naturally occurring. When confronted by misfortune, clichés abound, and we’re advised to “roll with the punches,” and “go with the flow.” Even in dark times, we know that “this too shall pass.” During a tough stint, we should remember that time heals. In periods of serenity, we should appreciate the good in our lives. Rejoicing in gratitude for the health and success of our loved ones or when achieving a milestone or good fortune, should be tempered by reality. Just as with sadness, pleasure and celebration are fleeting, and “this too shall pass.” As Rudyard Kipling put it beautifully in his poem “If”: “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two imposters just the same…You’ll be a man my son.” Downturns are not permanent defeats, and successes are not ultimate triumphs. How we face setbacks with resilience and accept our successes with grace are important measures of our worth as individuals. Let’s learn from our elders.

JSL looks forward to celebrating all of them at our 26th Annual EIGHT OVER EIGHTY luncheon on May 19, 2019 at Adat Shalom Synagogue. To order tickets or for sponsorships and ad journal pages, contact Beth Tryon, 248-592-5026