u’fakdeinu vo li’vrachah (and consider us on this day for prosperity and success): We ask that whatever Hashem decrees upon us should be for blessing, which also implies an increased flow of blessing.
v’hoshi’einu vo l’chayim (and save us on this day so that we will merit life): This phrase refers to when we are in a state of distress; we ask Hashem to save us “l’chayim.” When we are in a state of distress, we generally think about improving character and deeds. However, often, after we have been saved, we forget our resolve to better ourselves and remain in the same spiritual state that we were prior to the tzarah. Here we ask that Hashem saves us “l’chayim,” which means that our salvation results in an elevated spiritual level compared to where we were before. We ask that we not forget to better ourselves and that we succeed in bringing ourselves closer to eternal life, “chayim.”
u’vidvar y’shuah v’rachamim chus v’chaneinu (and with Your promise to save us and to have mercy on us, have mercy on us [although we are undeserving] because You are our Creator, and favor us [with salvation]): The word “chus” means that even though we do not deserve salvation and compassion, we nevertheless ask for compassion because Hashem is our Creator. In the same vein, we ask to find favor before Hashem as a “matnas chinam” (same root as chein), as a free gift, even though we are undeserving.
v’racheim aleinu v’hoshi’einu (and have mercy on us because of our lowly nature and save us)
ki eilecha eineinu, ki Keil Melech chanun v’rachum atah (because our eyes are looking to You in hope, because You are the Almighty King over all, and You are gracious and merciful [even to the undeserving]): We close Yaaleh V’Yavo with giving Hashem the reason to have compassion on us and bring our salvation. What is the ultimate merit that we can have that will bring us salvation the way it did at the time of K’rias Yam Suf? Bitachon: “because our eyes are looking to You in hope.” We trust and rely upon ONLY You.
Y’hi chasd’cha Hashem aleinu, ka’asher yichalnu lach
May Your kindness, Hashem, be upon us at all times, just as we have awaited You.
T’hilim 33:22 (the last pasuk, also recited by us daily in Hodu)
The measure of Hashem’s chesed toward us is determined by the degree that we rely upon and trust Hashem to save us. The expression of our bitachon manifests itself in our anxiously awaiting Hashem’s salvation. Our bitachon – continuing to hope for and await Hashem’s salvation – is the great merit that can bring our ultimate redemption, irrespective of not deserving salvation for any other reason.
Here, in Yaaleh V’Yavo, we refer to our ultimate g’ulah. However, the same is true in our own personal lives, as well.
At the time of judgment, after 120, one of the first questions we will be asked is “Tzipisa ly’shuah?” Did you anxiously await the salvation? Rashi explains that this refers to the Final Redemption.
The Beis HaLevi adds another explanation. He writes that we will be asked whether we despaired during times of personal hardship, or whether we trusted in Hashem and anticipated His help. We all have challenges in life. Some people face financial difficulties, some deal with medical issues, some are looking for a marriage partner for themselves or their children, and there are, of course, many other kinds of challenges, as well. And this, the Beis HaLevi explains, is the question we will be asked in the next world: whether or not we anticipated Hashem’s salvation, trusting that he would get us through whatever challenges we face.
Pele Yo’eitz (Tzipuy) cites the Arizal, who states that when we recite in the weekday Amidah prayer “Ki ly’shuascha kivinu kol ha’yom (for we hoped for Your salvation all day), we should have in mind that we anticipate Hashem’s help with whatever challenges we are currently confronting. The Arizal said that this practice is a powerful s’gulah through which we can earn Hashem’s assistance.” [quote from Beis HaLevi on Bitachon, by Rabbi David Sutton, with permission of the copyright holders, ArtScroll / Mesorah Publications, Ltd.]
Finally, we state why we have bitachon and anxiously await Hashem’s salvation. Hashem is the G-d of powerful compassion, a King Who favors us even when we don’t deserve anything, and Who has compassion upon us in all circumstances.
May we all merit to strengthen our trust and complete reliance on Hashem and thereby merit our personal salvations and the Final Redemption, speedily in our days.
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