…l’fanecha Hashem Elokeinu yich’r’u v’yipolu, v’lichvod shimcha y’kar yiteinu, vi’kablu chulam es ol malchusecha…
…before you, Hashem, Who takes special care of us, they will bow down on their knees and fall on their faces in prostration, and to the glory of Your Name they will give great honor, and everyone will accept the yoke of Your Kingdom (to do whatever You command)…
…l’fanecha Hashem Elokeinu yich’r’u v’yipolu, v’lichvod shimcha y’kar yiteinu
…before you, Hashem, Who takes special care of us, they will bow down on their knees and fall on their faces in prostration, and to the glory of Your Name they will give great honor…
The word “y’kar” is understood by Metzudas Tziyon to mean precious and chashuv (important). Therefore, this phrase is stating that, in the future, all people will bow before Hashem Elokeinu and come to the recognition that true honor and “chashivus” only exist with Hashem. Therefore, the only people who are “chashuv” are those who connect themselves with Hashem. The degree of “chashivus” (true importance and greatness) of each person is measured only by the degree to which they are connected to Hashem.
We can see this, as well, in a pasuk (Yirmeyahu 9:22-23):
Let not the wise man glorify himself with his wisdom, and let not the strong man glorify himself with his strength; let not the rich man glorify himself with his wealth. For only with this may one glorify himself: contemplating and knowing Me…
The only person deserving praise is the one who “knows” Hashem. HaRav Shlomo Wolbe (Daas Shlomo – G’ulah, page 211) writes that “daas Elokim” means a heartfelt sense of clarity that the Creator exists, beyond any shadow of a doubt (Bais HaMussar – Purim).
HaRav Avigdor Miller explains “daas” with an analogy. Children are told sternly not to put their finger in fire. “Daas” is when that child has put his finger in the fire and felt the pain. That child will never put his finger in the fire again. “Daas Elokim” means acquiring as tangible a feeling of the presence of Hashem as we can, which will lead to action. It will result in our emulating the Ways of Hashem (chesed, etc.). It will be reflected in the way we daven, how we speak to others, how we act when in private, and how we utilize the 86,400 seconds that Hashem grants us each day.
In our tefilah of “Al Kein,” we are stating that the level of recognition that will occur at the End of Days will propel all people to the next phrase:
vi’kablu chulam es ol malchusecha…
and everyone will accept the yoke of Your Kingdom (to do whatever You command)…
All will accept the yoke of Hashem’s malchus. They will have clarity beyond a shadow of a doubt and will willingly desire for Hashem to be their King.
Until that time, it is our life’s mission to acquire that “daas Elokim” – to feel the presence of Hashem with as much clarity as possible and for that “Shivisi” (placing Hashem before us constantly) to propel us to think, speak, and act in the way that Hashem wants us to do at any given moment.
A method that has been suggested by many is to imagine that the gadol or rebbe or rav – whomever we hold in the highest esteem – is standing at our side. How would we speak and act? Would it be the same as when he is not there? Hashem is always with us, 24/7, every second, and He also knows what we are thinking, in addition to how we are acting and speaking.
[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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