Trickle-Down TheoryBy Rabbi Jack Abramowitz
This Psalm was composed as a prayer at the time of the famine described in II Samuel 21. David says that silence, meaning recognizing that we are unable to recount all of G-d’s praises, is itself a praise of Him. When the Jews are in exile, they promise that when they return, they will again serve Him in the Temple. The Temple is open to all mankind, not just the Jews, and G-d listens to everyone’s prayers.
David says that it is impossible to enumerate all our sins, so we just pray to G-d, Who has the ability to forgive them. Fortunate is the generation that G-d redeems and draws close to Him, to enjoy all the spiritual benefits the Temple has to offer. G-d answers our prayers with awe-inspiring displays of His righteousness; the whole world turns to Him in their hour of need.
How powerful is G-d? Just look at a few of the things He does: G-d prepares the mountains to sprout vegetation and He calms the churning sea. (The latter may be a metaphor for hostile nations.) His celestial phenomena, such as thunder and lightning, strike fear in people’s hearts, but people rejoice in the reliability of the scheduled adhered to by the sun and moon. G-d pays attention to the Earth and provides rain, making the ground fertile. He directs the water to the crops and causes them to sprout. Each year, on Rosh Hashana, G-d decrees how abundant that year’s produce should be.
G-d’s abundance trickles down to the fields and the wild animals. Lush pastures attract grazing animals. When all of this growth occurs, people joyfully praise G-d. (It may be that when the meadows and fields are in full bloom, that is their way of praising G-d.)