Man Plans and G-d Laughs
Many, myself included, glibly recite this Yiddish expression without giving the words much thought. This past week, though, I did think about them and I don’t like them at all. They seem to imply that there’s a Supreme Being who maliciously enjoys thwarting our dreams.
Last week we had what seemed like a perfect plan all in place. Seven weeks earlier we’d received the invitation to our first grandchild’s Bat Mitzvah party. I’d sewn a dress to wear and we’d found the prefect present. The program was in place, speeches ready, food bought, the garden trimmed, and the house cleaned. Everyone was so ready. And then the Bat Mitzvah girl’s beloved other grandfather went to the hospital.
Less than twenty-four hours before the party was supposed to begin it was cancelled. Bad went to worse and in place of all the family celebrating the following day we gathered in shock at the cemetery and mourned together.
It was not first time I’d experienced such a plummet from joy to sorrow. I’d had the “perfect’ reception in place for my parent’s golden wedding anniversary. A month before it was supposed to be held my mother had emergency surgery. One day proceeding the date on the invitation we had her funeral.
In honor of our youngest son’s Bar Mitzvah we put our hearts into planning a “wonderful” evening. Then on the Shabbat that he read from the Torah his grandmother died. We received the bitter news Saturday night and his father took off for America. My husband was sitting shiva on the night we’d planned the wonderful evening.
I can only try to guess what message The Almighty was trying to teach me when each of our plans were so harshly dashed. Perhaps I had overlooked inviting someone whose feelings were hurt? Maybe I hadn’t thought enough about helping others who didn’t have the financial means to celebrate their happy events? It could have been that my plans were all in order but their cancellations set other events that needed to happen into motion.* I can only speculate and try to become a better person.
There is one thing I am sure of, though. HaShem is not gloating over my ruined plans. He does not laugh at my misfortune. He is, I am sure, crying along with me. It is now Elul and I know He is near. I just have to reach out and He will comfort me, if I let Him.
As part of their comfort my son and daughter-in-law will be plan another Bat Mitzvah celebration for their daughter. There’s no reason for them not to do so. It is what her grandfather would have wanted them to do and without planning nothing would ever happen. I’m sure, however, this time as they plan they will understand, as we all should, that none of our plans will come to fruition without the help of HaShem.
|Shmuel Mordechai Ben Yehudah Aryeh and Rochel, z'l, a man admired and respected by many, his death has left a gaping hole in our lives|