Al kein n’kaveh l’cha Hashem Elokeinu lir’os m’heirah b’siferes uzecha
(Since You are the only power) therefore we hope and trust in You (to save us), Hashem Who takes special care of us, (and) to see, without delay, the glory of Your great strength…
One of the first questions we will be asked on our Day of Judgment is “Tzipisa liy’shuah” (Shabbos 31a): Did we yearn for the Salvation? The Shaarei T’shuvah (siman 118, towards the end of s’if katan 1, quoting from the Arizal) says that when one recites the words “ki liy’shuascha kivinu kol ha’yom” in the brachah of “Es Tzemach David” in Shemoneh Esrei, he should try to feel yearning for the G’ulah and have kavanah to be able to answer this question affirmatively. Great tzadikim live constantly throughout their lives with “Tzipisa.” For the rest of us, the Shaarei T’shuvah is advising us that availing ourselves of proper intent as we recite this phrase in this brachah is our best opportunity to be able to answer: YES, we did long for Mashiach on a daily basis. While there are other ways that we can fulfill “Tzipisa,” most of us will need to refer to our kavanah while reciting this phrase in this brachah to answer YES to this question on our Day of Judgment.
Perhaps, if we focus during “Al kein n’kaveh,” that will enable us to respond “yes” with an even more resounding yes. As we will see, that is in essence what this paragraph is all about. Let us remember that HaKadosh Baruch Hu and all His heavenly hosts watch us as we recite these two paragraphs of Aleinu. Let us also remember that the Midrash writes that one of the merits that the final redemption can come is because of our hope and trust that Hashem will bring Mashiach and redeem us speedily.
The word n’kaveh means to hope and trust (Pathway to Prayer Siddur by Rabbi Mayer Birnbaum). However, in Mishlei (10:28), the Vilna Gaon writes that “tikvah” (same root as “n’kaveh”) specifically means that whatever we are hoping for will come in the immediate future.
At the end of the first paragraph of Aleinu, we recited the pasuk stating that we need to recognize and internalize that Hashem alone is in complete control of the Heavens (all spiritual results) and the Earth (all material results). We now express our hope and trust that we will see the return of the Shechinah (to Yerushalayim) and speedily in the immediate future, merit to see the splendor of the Beis HaMikdash.
(based on Avudraham, as explained by Sifsei Chaim, Moadim 1)
Our formidable challenge is to take advantage of this precious opportunity, which comes at the end of our tefilos. Our minds may already be absorbed in what lies ahead of us, as we conclude our tefilah and enter the next phase of our day. The greater the challenge, the greater the reward. As we have seen, the reward for our enhanced focus and heart can be nothing short of the coming of Mashiach and witnessing, in the immediate future, the splendor of the final Beis HaMikdash – Kein y’hi ratzon!
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