Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth. — Psalm 96:1
Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again — and expecting different results. And yet, as human beings we tend to be creatures of habit even as we wish for different circumstances in our lives and in our world. As Einstein made clear, however, there is only one way to change the circumstances we see in our lives: If we don’t like the results, we need to change the equation.
The psalmist seemed to understand that when he wrote: “Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD all the earth.” When will the whole world sing a new song? According to Jewish belief, that will only happen in the messianic times when the world reaches a state of perfection. In fact, Jewish tradition teaches that in the messianic era, an eighth note will be added to the seven-note musical scale. The music will be unlike anything that anyone has ever heard before! But this addition to our musical repertoire is more than just a change in human perception. It will be a reflection of a serious change in human behavior.
For far too long humanity has sung the same song. A song of war and sadness. A song of depravity and deception. We have sung dirges of hate and ballads of oppression. Yes, there have been high notes in history, and at times, even a great symphony. Yet by and large, our song has stayed the same with the same sorry chorus. History tends to repeat itself. But it doesn’t have to.
Friends, it’s time for us to change our tune. It’s time to do something different so our world can be different. And the changes start with us. Do you dance to a song of worry all day long? Try to tune in to the wavelength of faith. Do you walk to the beat of an angry drum? Try to slow the rhythm and sing a tranquil tune instead. An amazing thing happens when even one person whistles a happy, catchy new tune. Everyone around them wants to join in!
So “sing to the LORD a new song,” your new song, and soon others will be singing it, too.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President