Rav Avigdor Miller on Hashem, Remember Our Good Deeds

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Q:
What are we asking for when we say אבינו מלכינו זכרנו לזכויות? What are we asking to be זוכה to?

A:
I think it’s quite simple. We want to have זכויות. Now we do certain things that may superficially be considered as good things. But sometimes, if we would be examined more carefully, then the פנימיות is not so good. So we ask Hashem, “Hashem, please accept our מעשים, even the superficial ones, and write it down for זכויות. Even though we don’t really deserve it.” If we deserved it, why ask Him?! He’ll do it anyhow. Of course Hashem will remember our good deeds if we deserve it. So we’re saying that even if we don’t deserve it, write it down for זכויות, write them down as merits for us.

Now, of course if a person did an עבירה, he can’t ask Hashem to remember that לזכויות. I’m talking about mitzvos now. You’re always doing mitzvos, but the trouble is that our mitzvos are not always being done with the full intention of לשמה. So we say זכרנו לזכויות. We say כתבנו לזכויות. Give us the merit as if we did it with the full and proper intention so that it should be a זכות for us.

Now, of course, as much as possible you have to work on making your mitzvos as as perfect as possible. It’s the thoughts of your mind that are the backbone of every mitzvah. And it’s primarily your thoughts that Hashem is looking at. רחמנא לבא בעי – Hashem wants your mind, your thoughts, more than anything else. The Mesillas Yesharim (Perek 16) says as much: כי אין די לאדון ברוך הוא במעשים לבדם אלא העיקר לפניו שהלב יהיה טהור לכון בה לעבודה אמיתית – “It will not suffice for Hashem that we serve Him with our actions alone. Rather what is most important to Him is that the thoughts of a person be pure and that he should focus his mind on the true service of Hashem.” And so we have our work cut out for us. But until then we ask Hashem, “Please judge us with mercy and consider our מעשים, as זכויות, as if we had fulfilled them with all of the proper intent that You want.

TAPE # E-247