Hashem As King and I

The Yomim Noraim seem to be a time when we’re more focused on our own needs in Shul. We want the right seats, the right Baalei Tefillah, the right length of davening. This makes sense since these are the most critical prayers of the years and we want to create the conditions that enable our best possible tefillos.

On the other hand, when we’re more particular, there’s a greater chance that we’ll be disappointed by our seat or by the davening. This disappointment might move us further from our ideal davening state.

In addition, the high holy days are a time when we make extra efforts to recognize Hashem as King. According to some commentators this focus on His Kingship precludes us from personal requests on Rosh Hoshana, so it seems a bit incongruent to be more particular about our own needs.

We might not be at the level where we can totally ignore our needs, but perhaps we can catch ourselves when things don’t meet our higher holiday standards. These down moments can be transformed into up moments if we refocus on Hashem as King and move a little bit away from our “I”.