When Rosh Hashonoh arrives, a person with a minimum of good deeds to his credit should be anxious all the more before his coming judgment. But in actuality, it doesn't work that way. In most of the prayers we ask Hashem to act mercifully towards us. "If you execute the true extent of the judgment, who will emerge righteous therein?" Without mercy and kindness, who can expect to stand before Hashem in judgment?
This teaches us, says the Ayeles Hashachar HaRav Shteinman zt"l, that the advice to emerge righteous in our judgment is a twofold intertwined counsel.
One is through toiling for the public welfare. Every person, in some aspect, can bring merit to the community. This does not apply only to people who stand in public service. One who is in yeshiva and fortifies himself through Torah study, prayer and good deeds, by which way he causes others to wish to emulate him, is also bring merit to the Klal. No one is simply a private person for he is a factor in the continued existence of the world to some extent, and his judgment affects the entire world.
An additional aspect: Even setting aside zikkui horabim, the very mitzvos of study, prayer and good deeds, which are the pillars of the world, serve by themselves to strengthen and uphold the whole world. And one who does practice this increases the chances that Hashem will deal with him mercifully.
We stand now just a few days before Rosh Hashonoh. A person who awaits a trial and anticipates a death sentence, a life sentence in prison, a sentence of several years or at best, of only a month, will surely make every effort to hire the best lawyer and will be preoccupied day and night about the trial and ways to come out victorious. We know that all of mankind is judged on Rosh Hashonoh. We cannot help realizing how much suffering people have undergone, all of which was determined on the previous Rosh Hashonoh. How then can we be complacent?
The advice for this is to be a person who upholds the world, which depends on him. in these few remaining days we must strengthen ourselves especially in Torah study, prayer and chessed and think primarily about our fellow Jew and not only be concerned about ourselves, even though it is only natural for one to be self concerned before worrying about others. May Hashem help us to emerge meritoriously in our judgment.
Kesiva vechasimah tovah.