“How was your day?”

“Fine. How was yours?”

“Fine.”

How many times have you had this conversation? In how many homes across the world is this very exchange happening right now?

Thousands, I would suppose.

And it makes sense. After all, how earth-shattering can each day be? Many would consider it fortunate when a day passes by without drama; a regular, boring day, indistinguishable from yesterday, when you can come home and tell your spouse/parent/roommate, “It was fine.”

Is that so bad?

Yes.

We could, and should, do better.

A Service to the Service

Our parshah of Naso continues with the theme of this entire book, “Numbers,” listing the tallies of Levite families. Unlike the rest of the Jewish people, who were counted from ages 20 to 50, the Levites were counted from ages 30 to 50. Why? Because that was the age window to serve in the Temple—a role reserved for the Levites.

... from the age of thirty years and upward until the age of fifty years, who are fit to perform the service for the service and the work of carrying, in the Tent of Meeting.1

Pointing out the puzzling repetitious words, “the service for the service,” Rashi explains:

This refers to the music with cymbals and harps, which is a service for another service [namely, the sacrifices].2

In the Temple, the staff members with the biggest job descriptions were the kohanim, the priests, who performed the bulk of the work. The Levites had few jobs, and arguably their flagship position was that of musicians. The Mishnah describes a beautiful scene of tens of Levites standing on the steps of the Temple in a grand symphony, serenading G‑d on a plethora of instruments as the sacrifices were offered.3

The musical experience was quite systemized; the Levites would sing a different song every day of the week.4 All in all, it was a moving experience, meant to evoke awe in the hearts of those serving G‑d in that holy place.

A Daily Song

While the Temple is sadly no longer in service, the Levite tradition of daily song is not lost. Every day, shortly after the morning Amidah prayer, we recited the Shir Shel Yom, the “Song of the Day,” namely the chapter of Psalms that the Levites sang in the Temple in bygone days.

In fact, prior to reciting the daily chapter, we say, “Today is the first day of the week, on which the Levites would chant in the Temple…”5

Every Day a New Song

Why am I telling you this?

Well, during a talk in the summer of 1973,6 the Rebbe delivered a powerful message about this little-talked-about tradition. It was relevant then, and it’s just as relevant today.

As mentioned, this portion of the morning prayers is called the Song of the Day. Now, conventionally, when you read that, it means, “The chapter of Psalms that was sung in the Temple on this day of the week.” But if you didn’t have all the background info we’ve just discussed, you would be forgiven for understanding the words exactly as they read: “Today’s song,” i.e., the song that today—insert day of the week here—sings.

What does that mean? What does it mean that Sunday sings? And what is Sunday’s song vs. Tuesday’s song?

Ah.

This is where we go back to that boring conversation we opened with. While many will argue that Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday really aren’t different from one another, and hey, the less drama the better, nothing can be further from the truth.

After all, if G‑d created Sunday, and then Monday, and then Tuesday, they must be different from one another. If they were really the same, if every boring day was just a meaningless continuation of yesterday’s randomness, different only by dint of the date on the bottom right-hand corner of your screen, then G‑d essentially wasted His time creating them each separately.

The sun sets at night and rises the next morning, gifting us with a new day, a new opportunity. If G‑d ordained it as such, it must be that there’s something inherently unique about today that wasn’t available yesterday and won’t be available tomorrow.

Every day has its own unique “song.” Wednesday is jazz, Thursday is classical, and Friday is a mix. You wake up to a new day, and now it’s your turn to discover its rhythm, its beat, and its tune.

Make it Consequential

What this means in plain, simple English is this: Every day is consequential. Don’t be lazy with yourself and let a day pass by, thinking, “Eh, it’s just another day. Let me put it to bed and hope for something more interesting tomorrow.” Don’t let yourself get away with assuming that change, progress, or something notable is reserved for a full year, or at best, a month. “Oh, I’m going to make sure next month will be better. Next month I’ll finally clean out the garage or start going to shul. But today? Tomorrow? Leave me alone—I’m tired and I want to go to bed.”

This is a sad mistake. Each day is belting out a different tune, and if you perk up your ears enough, you’ll hear it. Go ahead and make every day meaningful and consequential. You may not build the Empire State Building anew every day, but you can most definitely build something of value today, tomorrow, and every day thereafter.