In Devarim 29:9, we find the verse that begins “You are all standing this day before HaShem, your G-d...” The Kedushat Levi, the great commentary on the Torah and on the Holidays composed by Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, explains that, that which is in accordance with one’s will is called “in front of, or before” him, while that which is contrary to one’s will, is called “behind, or in back of” him. He relates the verse cited above to the Gemoroh in Rosh HaShanah 34b, where we find HaShem advising the Jewish People as to how to pray to Him on the Day of Judgment. HaShem says. “Say before Me the ‘Malchiyot,’ or Kingship Prayer, in order that you make Me King over you. Say before Me the ‘Zichronot,’ or Remembrance Prayer, in order that your remembrance come before Me for good.”
Thus, according to the Kedushat Levi, the Talmud is advising the Jew to accept HaShem as King with his full will, in order that HaShem be “Mashpia,” pour forth, blessings upon him, in accordance with His Will. And furthermore, to declare HaShem Omniscient and Righteous with his full will, in order that when HaShem Remembers, so to speak, this Jew’s case, it will be for good, in accordance with His Will.
For the word “le-fonai,” before, is related to the word “panim,” or face. When HaShem is able to bless Israel, based on their good deeds, He turns towards them, so to speak, to carry out His Will, whereas, if He is forced, so to speak, against His Will and Nature, to punish the Jews, because of their sins, He allows the punishment to occur, but He cannot bear to behold it.
In Devarim 30:9, we find the verse “And HaShem your G-d will abundantly bless you in everything you do, in connection with your children, your cattle and your produce, for HaShem will return to rejoice over you for good, as he did once over your forefathers.” So that on Rosh HaShanah, when the People of Israel are judged before Him, this Judgment is particularly well-suited for Him, for He delights in bestowing blessings upon Israel.
And in another initially puzzling usage of the word “over,” we find the Zohar, in Section 2, Paragraph 32b, commenting on the verse in I Kings 22:19, “I saw the L-rd of Hosts sitting in Justice, as it were, upon His Throne of Glory, and all the Hosts of Heaven were standing over Him;” “The expression ‘over Him’ is most precise, for this Judgment touches His Essence, as it were. Because when HaShem is able to pour out His blessings upon His beloved children it is from His very Essence that He does so.”
Rabbi Pinchas Frankel