Shouldn’t Yechi HaMelech be said only if it is truthful and from the depth of the heart?
The answer is, absolutely not!
There is a general rule in Torah that a person should engage themselves in Torah and mitzvos even if it is Shelo Lishmo (not truthful and not from the depth of the heart) because Mitoch Shelo Lishmo Bo Lishmo.
In Chassidus there is a deeper understanding of this phrase. Deep inside, subconsciously, a person’s intention is Lishmo, truthful. And that is the meaning of Mitoch Shelo Lishmo -- the inside of the Shelo Lishmo is the Lishmo. Deep inside, everyone has faithful intention in their Avodas Hashem.
In addition to the above, the Rebbe’s approach in particular is to act even when it is not from the depths of the heart. This a common thread throughout all the Sichos and letters of the Rebbe. It is also consistent regarding all the Mivtzoim.
When we approach other people about changing their lives with Kashrus, Mezuzah, Tefillin, or any other Mivtzoim, did the Rebbe ever make a condition that the only way to talk to another person is if it is meant truthfully, and otherwise, do not approach the person -- don’t do the Mivtza don’t do the Shlichus?
The Rebbe mentions the argument which comes from sources outside of Chabad, justifying their involvement only with themselves; they don’t engage in influencing others until they are perfect themselves - Keshot Atzmecha Veachar Kach Keshot Acheirim. The Rebbe often repeats the quote of the Rebbe Rashab: “Chatof V’echol Chatof U’tshisi”, meaning there is no time to wait do whatever you can with others regardless of your own personal spiritual deficiencies. And with the power of the Rebbe the משלח - one will certainly succeed (Likkutei Sichos, vol. 9, p. 300, Likkutei Sichos, vol. 14, p. 294, and many others).
The declaration which preceded Yechi HaMelech was Ad Mosai, did anyone ever hear the Rebbe say that one should not say Ad Mosai unless it is meant truthfully, from the depth of the heart? Many times, the Rebbe asked Chassidim by the farbrengen to shout Ad Mosai. Not once in all the years did the Rebbe make a condition that only those that mean it from the heart should shout Ad Mosai.
In reference to Moshiach, the Sicha of Parshas Re’ah (Sefer HaSichos 5751, p. 778) discusses publicizing the imminent coming of Moshiach even if one is uncertain about any aspects of the topic. The Rebbe says that this should be publicized even by those people who do not really feel it themselves. Not that the person lacks the desire for Moshiach, but even if he lacks the belief that Moshiach’s coming is truly imminent! Even that person, the Rebbe says, should go out and tell other people that Moshiach’s coming is imminent. Why? The Rebbe says that other people do not have to suffer because someone is not the way he should be. No matter how one personally feels, one will still succeed in bringing the message to other people.
The Rebbe adds that when one speaks to another and sees how that person is strengthened with the belief in Moshiach, ultimately this itself will strengthen the first person and bring out the Emunah that is already within.
Clearly the Rebbe says that everyone should participate in activities that bring Moshiach. Even when it involves telling people that Moshiach’s coming is imminent, everyone should participate, including those that don’t mean it truthfully. Certainly, the same applies to saying Yechi HaMelech, which is only between the individual and the Rebbe. Even if one does not mean it truthfully, it should be said anyway.
In fact, there is a Sicha from the Rebbe in reference to Rosh Hashana (second day of Rosh Hashana, Sichos Kodesh 5737). The Rebbe says that according to the teachings of Chassidus and Kabbalah, Malchus - kingship is the idea of speech. He explains that when it comes to crowning the king, the main thing is not thought but speech - to verbalize Yechi HaMelech.
From this it is understood that in crowning Melech HaMoshiach, the main thing is to actually say the words, although we try to enhance them by bringing in as much depth as we can, Similarly when people daven on Rosh Hashana, they try their best to make their commitment to Hashem come from the depths of their soul. But G-d forbid to say that they will not blow Shofar until that happens that they won’t say the words המלך הקדוש and המלך המשפט and all of the other words of kingship unless they really feel them.
The Halacha is that the words have to be said; the Shofar must be heard. Through the actions and the words, Hachtaras HaMelech is accomplished. The feeling and depth contribute only to its enhancement.
There is also another remarkable Sicha where the Rebbe speaks about this subject. Although it is not about Yechi HaMelech of Melech HaMoshiach, it concerns the identical subject, crowning Hashem as a Melech. After all, the ultimate purpose of the Malchus of Moshiach is that the Malchus of Hashem be revealed, as explained at length in Derech Mitzvosecha, Mitzvas מינוי מלך, p. 108.
The Sicha is from Vov Tishrei (Likkutei Sichos, vol. 19, pgs. 294-297) which the Rebbe said on Rosh Hashana 5736. Many will remember when the Rebbe said the Sicha it was said with so much emotion that the walls were roaring. The subject was what should be on a person’s mind when asking Hashem to become the Melech. The Rebbe explains the dialogue between Chana and Eli HaKohen. She came to pour out her heart before Hashem on Rosh Hashana, asking for a child. The Rebbe explains that Eli’s complaint to Chana was that standing before Hashem in the Bais HaMikdash on Rosh Hashana, when one is supposed to be crowning Hashem as King, is not the appropriate time to be asking for physical needs. Therefore, he called her a drunken woman. Chana’s opinion was exactly the opposite. It is appropriate standing before the Melech, involved in the Avoda of Hachtaras HaMelech, to ask the Melech for Gashmiyus! The Rebbe says that ultimately Eli agreed with Chana and blessed her because she was right. One must read the Sicha at length to fully appreciate this idea.
To conclude, even if a person says Yechi HaMelech without full sincerity, but does want Moshiach to come in order to end the suffering of Golus, to end sickness, poverty and pain of all types, according to the Rebbe, it is precisely this that should be thought of when asking for Hachtoras HaMelech!
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