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Just what the title says. I've heard that it's because we don't supplicate Hashem on shabbat, but this seems a little simplistic. What are the issues here?

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The Levhush Siman 584 Seif 1 writes that Avinu Malkeinu was authored by Rabbi Akiva to mirror the Berachos of the weekday Shemona Esrei,

Avinu Malkeinu Choneinu V'Aneinu = Chonen Ha'Daas

Hachzireinu B'Teshuva = Horotze B'Teshuva

Selach Umichal = Selach Lanu

Kosveinu B'Sefer Geula = Goel Yisroel

Shelach Refua = Refainu

Chadesh Aleinu = Borech Aleinu

Horeim Keren = Teka B'Shofar

Bateil M'Aleinu = Hoshiva, V'hoser Mimenu Yogon V'Anacha

Kalei Kol Tzar = Shoveir Oivim

Mechok B'Rachamecho HaRabim = Yehemu Rachamecha

Horeim Keren Meshichecha = V'Karno Torim

Hatzmach Lonu = Matzmiach Keren Yeshua

Shema Koleinu = Shomeya Tefila

and it also includes requests for the Tzorchei Rabim.

The Levush finishes that when Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur come out on a weekday, which if it was not Rosh HaShana we would of Davened the full Shemona Esrei then we say Avinu Malkeinu which mirrors the Shemona Esrei. However when it comes out on Shabbos where we Daven a different Shemona Esrei we do not say Avinu Malkeinu which mirrors the weekday Shemona Esrei.

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Ah, this is the sort of thing I was looking for. Thank you very much. –  Larry Denenberg Dec 3 '10 at 15:53
    
Source: Taamei Minhagim #711 - hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14556&pgnum=325 –  Menachem Oct 5 '11 at 2:49
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NB: Sepharadim (at least the North Africans--Moroccans, Tunisians, Algerians, Libyans--with whom I daven) do say Avinu Malkenu on Shabbat Shuva.

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David, Welcome to mi.yodeya, and thanks very much for the Sephardic data point! We'd love to have you as a fully-registered member, which you can accomplish by clicking on "register," above. –  Isaac Moses Dec 8 '10 at 6:28
    
Interesting! I assume they also say it on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur when those coincide with Shabbat? –  Alex Dec 8 '10 at 15:45
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Avinu Malkeinu is a prayer in which we beseech Hashem for healing, sustenance and other things that we need. On Shabbos we do not pray directly for our needs. This is because referring to the material things that we lack can cause us distress, something that is inconsistent with the Shabbos atmosphere of pleasure and bliss.

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