Rosh Hashana is a day of renewal, not just of our lives, but also of our relationship with God.
The unique prayer themes of Rosh Hashana are Sovereignty, Memory, and the Shofar – where we crown God as our King; recall the heritage of our relationship, and blow the shofar – מַלְכֻיּוֹת זִכְרוֹנוֹת וְשׁוֹפָרוֹת.
Judaism’s innovative concept of a God we can have a relationship with can seem absurd enough, but the idea of crowning God is stranger still. To some extent, maybe it defies explanation.
The Baal HaTanya notes that we can readily understand crowning a human; the Queen of England is not so drastically different to her staff and subjects.
But how can we “coronate” God, and how can that be something God “needs” from us?
Judaism’s answer is straightforward: because God loves us.
That’s what Memory is – זִכְרוֹנוֹת. We recall the stories of our heritage, showcasing the relationship our ancestors carved out, and that falls to us to take up the mantle.
This may seem circular – מי יצדק לפניך בדין – why should the stories make a difference either?
R’ Nechemia Sheinfeld answers that this is what the Shofar addresses. The Shofar is symbolic of crying – real and authentic emotion. Our relationship with God is irrational, and we simply embrace the absurdity of it.
God wants a relationship with each of us because He loves us, and like a father can’t resist his crying child, it is unconditional love.