Every day, anew.

This moment of history feels both unprecedented and repetitive.

In our society, we seem to repeat the same arguments to one another to the point of exhaustion. We never quite seem to make headway, as we face the same problems year after year, decade after decade.

On the other hand, every day brings new technology, a new crisis, and a new discovery that reveals how new our lives truly are. Every day can feel radically different.

Amidst a discussion in the Talmud, we get this interesting interaction (Shabbat 30b):

A certain student scoffed at him and said: “There is nothing new under the sun” (Kohelet 1:9). Rabban Gamliel said to him: Come, and I will show you an example in this world. He took him outside and showed him a chicken [that lays eggs every day.]

In this almost sarcastic interaction in the Gemara, a student scoffs at Rabban Gamliel. How often have we responded, internally or externally, to a seemingly obvious statement? And yet, Rabban Gamliel points out that even in the most mundane contexts, something new can be found: chickens lay eggs every day.

I think there are two lessons here:

How might we respond to the world differently if we stop presuming we know everything?

By assuming we know what someone is going to say, we might miss out on a crucial bit of insight. This scoffing student certainly knew that chickens laid eggs daily, but their ego led them to miss something obvious.

If we’re open to what people have to say, we might gain new understandings of the world.

If we pay attention, newness is everywhere.

In order to know where to look, we must be open to the possibility. We have to allow ourselves the opportunity, the gift that there are new things to discover about the world.

We can revel in the renewing of creation, with ourselves as partners in it, simply through the power of our intent.

Thank you for reading! In my With Torah and Love newsletter, I write about Torah, Talmud, self-awareness, and becoming our best selves as students of life and Judaism.

About the Author

Rabbi Jeremy Markiz is a teacher and consultant. He teaches the Torah rooted in personal growth, kindness, intentionality, and bettering the world. He writes the With Torah and Love newsletter.

He helps clergy, congregations, and Jewish organizations grow and communicate clearly in the digital world, develop effective strategies, and solve problems with his consulting firm, Next Level Rabbinics.