Yiddish Proverb

Mentsch tracht, Gott lacht.
Man plans, God laughs.

Editorial: Think of all the ludicrous demands made by the fickle gods of ancient mythology: sacrifice this virgin, build a boat, fetch me that animal, if you do this you live and if you don’t you die. On and on. I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about how some events happen in ways that are surprising and even poetic, as if the gods are indeed crazy and indeed have a wicked sense of humor. The impatient man just misses the bus. The composer loses his hearing. The marathoner dies of heart disease. But how is it that the alternative to the gods giving you exactly what you cannot handle is equally vexing: when the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers. This means the gods have us suffering coming and going– when they do and do not grant our wishes. The fact that both scenarios are coincidences means little to people who tend to fault or credit the divine for everything that occurs in patterns. Either way I certainly enjoy the proverbs and clichés that spring up around their explanation, especially Mentsch tracht, Gott lacht!

More here… ( Dec. 6, 2010)

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1 Comment

Filed under Editorial, Ephemeron, Expectancy, Quotes

One response to “Yiddish Proverb

  1. Pingback: Joseph Campbell | chg7

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