אֲדון עולָם אֲשֶׁר מָלַךְ. בְּטֶרֶם כָּל יְצִיר נִבְרָא
Master of the universe, who reigned before any form was created.
This Tefillah which depicts the grandeur of HaKadosh Baruch Hu’s rule, after a little thought seems quite odd. We are familiar with the idea of a kingdom, and the king always has subjects. How can it be that Hashem was a king before the world was created?
The Shla and others explain that being a “Melech” is a description of His persona. Being a king demands qualities that HaKadosh Baruch Hu has, regardless of whether He has subjects or not. However, when subjects come into being, those ‘kingly’ qualities become more easily recognized.
On Rosh Hashanah day, the ultimate being was created: The Human, with the power to appreciate the King. Thus, Rosh Hashanah day was the first time that a second party could recognize Hashem’s Kingship. This is, in a sense, the day of the coronation of Hashem.
We now understand the significance of ‘malchus’ on Rosh Hashanah. The seforim hakedoshim tell us that when man was created, the Torah uses the words “vayipach bi’apav nishmas chayim” – He blew into his nose the breath of life. The Targum explains that a piece of Hashem (His breath) reverberates within us. This means that in a sense, we are like children of Hashem because part of HaKadosh Baruch Hu is in us.
When hearing the shofar blast, we are reminded of Creation, of Har Sinai, and of the coming of the Mosheach. All of these denote a new start. The seforim hakadoshim tell us that the wind of the shofar comes from that special breath of HaKadosh Baruch Hu that He put into us back at the time of Creation. Meaning we can start off anew with the verve of Hashem.
As we hear the shofar, we realize that Hashem is king, independent of his being coroneted by us. So too, as we start our new year, we are happy because we have been recharged with the ability to create a new world, our new world, independent of our deficiencies, because the spirit of Hashem—that primordial breath— is within us.