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God’s playlist

(Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

During this period of home isolation, I’ve looked more deeply into messages in the traditional prayers I recite every morning. For instance, a key passage in ancient Jewish liturgy is Yishtabach — or the “God Be Praised” prayer.

It concludes by hailing the “God of thanksgivings, Master of wonders, Who chooses melodious songs.” This should remind us that music, with its mysterious power to stir souls, is a divine gift, but also that not all music is created equal. We praise God not for creating music — humans do that — but for choosing the right songs.

So what music would God choose? I’d assume heaven would select enduring achievements of the last 300 years, possessing depth and spirituality, rather than superficial yelps that may prove popular but fleeting. God’s playlist more likely features Bach and Mozart over hip-hop or techno pop.

That meaningful choice could help all of us endure this devastating interruption in our lives.

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