Pesukei D’Zimrah: Rabbi Samson R Hirsch: The Heavens Will be Glad
The 9th of Iyar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Yitzchak Bernays (Barneis) (1792-1849), teacher of Rav Shamshon Rafael Hirsch. “Then the heavens will be glad and the earth will rejoice aloud and among the nations they will say: God has begun His reign.” In every instance where the Holy Scriptures speak of mankind’s eventual deliverance from sin and man’s return to his own pure destiny under God, we also find mention of a flourishing rejuvenation of nature. For nature, too, suffers if man goes astray. (Genesis 3:17-19)
Likewise, if man fulfills his destiny, then everything that grows and looms for man and is used by him for his purposes will also attain its own true higher purpose and will be lifted from the constraints of physical nature to the loftier realm of the moral freedom that is man’s.
If, on the other hand, man should exploit all the gifts of nature only to serve his own selfish desires and profane, sensuous degeneration, then he will drag the creations of pure physical nature down with him into the morass of his degeneration and nature will mourn because it has been made a slave to such unholy ends.
Therefore, the realm of nature around man grieves a joyous sigh of relief when man returns to his morally pure destiny under God, for then, nature, which man will employ for better purposes, will rise within into the sphere of his own morally noble humanity.
In such Scriptural accounts, the trees of the forest are given prominence among the creatures affected by the moral rise and fall of mankind. Without human intervention, the trees of the forest served as shelter for the innocent creatures of the woods. But when they are cut down by man, they are used for the building of human habitations and other purposes of human life, both private and public, regardless of whether they are moral or otherwise. Therefore, the trees, more than any other denizen of nature’s sphere, will rejoice when God will take action in order to restore justice and right on earth.
But as for us, we recognize the merciful providence of God at all times. We know that our own people, too, will be restored to its ancient Homeland simultaneously with the moral rebirth of mankind which we will have helped to bring about through our centuries of wandering among the nations.