Tefillah on Rosh Hashanah
is not for our Welfare
The Yesod V’Shoresh Ha’avodah writes that all the Tefillos that we recite on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is that the Name of Hashem should be sanctified amongst the nations and throughout the whole world. One should be distressed and cry on this Day of Judgment, as we are praying regarding the desecration of Hashem’s great name. One should pray with this intention regarding Hashem’s Name even more than the intentions that he has concerning his own welfare. In exile, one should always cry and be distressed on the desecration of Hashem’s Name amongst the nations who worship wood and stone, the handiwork of man. The nations taunt us and wonder, “where is your G-d, let Him stand and help you.”
The strategy that one must adopt to awaken his heart to crying is by reciting the words of the Tefillos with deliberation, and he should pause wherever there is a break in the recital, and this will arouse him to weeping. For example, when reciting u’vchen ten pachdecha Hashem Elokeinu al kol maassecha, he should have in mind the following: “until when will Your great Name be desecrated amongst the nations, and for this reason instill Your awe upon all Your works, that they should all recognize that there is no G-d other than You, and Your Name will grow exalted amongst the nations.” These are the intentions that one should have with great weeping and tremendous distress. Similarly, when reciting the words v’aimascho al kol mah shebarasa…. v’yeiasu kulam agudah echos… one should weep with the same intention mentioned previously.
When one recited the words u’vchen ten kavod Hashem le’amecha, he should have the following intention: “grant honor to Your people, not for our sake, rather for Your great Name that will grow exalted and sanctified amongst the nations, because now, we, the Holy Nation, are at a low and in great disgrace, and the nations scorn us and wonder, “where is your G-d?” The same intentions apply to the rest of the bracha, specifically the words: V’simloch atah Hashem levadecha Then You, Hashem, will reign alone over all Your works. One should have kavanah when reciting these words, and he should weep and be in great distress.