Rosh Hashanah Prayers: Zachreinu
From an unedited transcript of a shiur: The first beracha is the celebration of the potential of a human being, therefore, when we add in from the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Shemoneh Esrei, Zochreinu l’chaim Melech chafetz ba’chaim – Remember us for a life, O King who desires life. Which life are we speaking about? Definitely not physical life, because we’re not allowed to daven with specific physical requests in the first three berachas of Shemoneh Esrei. So this is referring to the life of olam habo, which is the ultimate potential.
Because despite the fact that you are grammatically correct that chaim is a plural word, but this too is referring specifically to a life of olam habo, one because in the vernacular, which in davening is designed for the vernacular, chaim is referring to life and the reason it’s in the plural is because actually life in olam habo is a plural life, not pluralistic, plural. The Ramchal explains that there are two levels of Gan Eden, and this parallels many, many thinkers in Jewish history, which is that there is a lower level of Gan Eden, which is wonderful, it’s fantastic. You know, I wish, I hope that I can at least get that, which is you reach a very high level of relationship with Hashem and you go there. But the higher level of Gan Eden is one which constantly changes, you’re constantly growing in Gan Eden, and every second you’re filled with a new insight and immediately that new insight empowers you to rise up another level so that life in Gan Eden is never peaceful, as Rashi says in Vayeshev, but life in Gan Eden is constantly exciting and filled with more and more and more and more so that it truly is eternal, and our awareness of Hashem increases every single second, and that’s why it’s referred to as chaim, in the plural.