Taking it With You: Tachnun: Rabbi Samson R Hirsch: Let us Fall into the Hand of God
The 9th of Iyar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Yitzchak Bernays (Barneis) (1792-1849), teacher of Rav Shamshon Rafael Hirsch. “And David said to Gad, ‘ I am greatly distressed; let us fall into the hand of God, for His compassion is great, but let me not fall into the hand of man.” David had gravely sinned, and his heart was still crushed with remorse when Gad the Prophet, at God’s command, placed before him a choice of three punishments from which he, David, was told to select one; three years of famine, or three months of defeat in war, or three days of pestilence. David chose the last of these three alternatives explaining his choice in these words which give expression to his trust in God’s compassion.
His hopes were fulfilled. The pestilence lasted only half a day instead of three, and we should note here that the Temple was erected at the very place where the dying was arrested.
It was this expression of trust in God that earned David the merit of finding the place where God’s home would stand.