By Chaya Mushka Kievman:
On Rosh Hashana, during the repetition of Mussaf Shemoneh Esreh, after each of the Shofar- blowings, we say a paragraph called “היום הרת עולם”, which talks about how Rosh Hashana is the day the world was created.
This paragraph also expresses our hope that because we are Hashem’s children and servants, Hashem will have mercy on us and forgive us.
You may ask, how does comparing us to Hashem’s children and servants, show our merit, and why do we use those 2 descriptions of the Jewish people in our Rosh Hashana davening?
There are 2 aspects of Hashem being our Father. It is a metaphor for the oneness we have with Him, the eternal bond with which we are connected to Hashem, that we are part of Hashem. It’s like children are really part of their parents because that’s who they come from, that’s who they share the deepest bond with, that’s who they share similar personalities and genes with. Though when we sin, it is more severe, because we are rebelling against a part of ourselves, yet, because we are Hashem’s child we hope that we will receive the unconditional forgiveness a father has for his child.
A servant, on the other hand, represents the fact that even though they share less of a bond with their master which means that it’s less natural for them to do their master’s will, we, as servants of Hashem, do it, and that is our merit that we are showing Hashem.
We also say in this paragraph that like a servant depends on his master and places his hopes in him, Hashem is our hope, and we depend on Him to bring our salvation. During our Rosh Hashana tefillos, let’s try to internalize that Hashem is the Only one who can provide us with a good year. And by us, through our tefillos, and having Bitachon in Hashem, we will have the zechus of our Merciful Father bringing the Geulah!