v’simloch aleihem m’heirah l’olam va’ed
…and (we ask that) without delay You reveal Your Kingdom in a way that they will accept it for all eternity.
The Vilna Gaon points out the difference between a melech (king) and a mosheil (ruler). A melech is someone whom the people desire to rule over them, while a mosheil is someone who forcefully rules against the people’s will. In the future, all will desire for Hashem to rule, and therefore we use the word v’simloch, which is from the same root as the word melech.
In the above phrase, we make three requests with respect to the future:
- All should desire for Hashem to rule over them (v’simloch)
- This should occur speedily (m’heirah)
- Hashem’s Kingdom should remain forever.
Ki ha’malchus shelcha hi
…since the rule of the world is fitting for You (since You created the world)…
All will recognize that the only true King is Hashem. All other kings only had power because Hashem granted them that power.
u’l’olmei ad timloch b’chavod
…and forever and ever You shall rule with honor (that is, the entire world will honor You)…
“B’chavod” means that His Kingship will be an honor for us. It is a great honor to serve even a king of flesh and blood or a president or a prime minister. Serving Hashem as an “eved Hashem” is an infinitely greater honor and privilege.
The title that Moshe Rabbeinu was given (which makes it the greatest title possible) is eved Hashem (servant of Hashem). What does it mean to be an eved Hashem? A servant does what his master wants him to do, when his master wants it done, and how his master wants it done. He has no independent will other than to use all his abilities to serve his master.
Becoming an “eved Hashem” does not mean knowing Shas by heart, being the most kind and compassionate person, being the biggest baal tzedakah or baal chesed, or davening the longest Shemoneh Esrei. Being the best eved Hashem certainly includes learning and living Torah to our fullest capabilities, becoming the kindest and most compassionate person we are capable of being, performing chesed and giving tzedakah to our fullest capabilities, and infusing our tefilos with as much mindfulness and heart as we are capable of. Those are some of the ingredients that go into becoming an eved Hashem. But the ultimate goal is shleimus (completeness) as an eved Hashem. The greater awareness of Hashem we have (“Shivisi”), the closer we can come to be an eved Hashem.
On a practical level, we only need to become the best version of ourselves using the strengths and weaknesses Hashem has granted to us personally. Each individual is unique. As long as we do our best to understand what Hashem wants (through learning Torah, asking our rebbeim/rabbanim…), to work to make our desires to be in sync with Hashem’s, and to put forth effort to the best of our abilities, Hashem will help us to get to where we want to and need to get to.
ka’kasuv b’sorasecha: Hashem yimloch l’olam va’ed
…as it is written in Your Torah [Sh’mos 15:18]: “Hashem will be King for all eternity.”
V’ne’emar: “V’hayah Hashem l’melech al kol ha’aretz, ba’yom hahu yihyeh Hashem echad u’sh’mo echad.”
And it also says [Zecharyah 14:9]: And then (at the time of Mashiach) Hashem will be king over the entire world; on that day (even the gentiles will realize that) Hashem is One (and there is no other power) and His Name will be One (mentioned by everyone).
[This segment is based on the sefer Rinas Chaim, by Rabbi Chaim Friedlander, and on the Pathway to Prayer Siddur, by Rabbi Mayer Birnbaum.]
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