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(Based on a recording from Rav Ezriel Tauber.)
Lord of Eternity Who reigned
A king by definition must have a kingdom. He is king over his people. Without a country, without a people, the term king is meaningless. So this beautiful song that we sing in Shul is very problematic. He is king now. That we can understand. He was king before anything was created. Over whom? Over what? And He will be king and rule in awesomeness after everything is finished. At the end of time when the world turns back into nothingness, He will still be king. What does that mean?
We sing this hymn, putting it to beautiful melodies, and we don't even have an inkling what it means.
There is a very wonderful moshol told over by the Chofetz Chaim.
The Country Man in the Big-City Shul
A Jew from the country once spent Shabbos in the big city. In shul on Shabbos morning, during the reading of the Torah, the gabbai called up men for aliyos, from all different corners of the shul. After the services, the guest went over to the gabbai and said, "My dear sir, I enjoyed the davening here very much, but tell me, why did you have to call the aliyos from all over? Wouldn't it have been more organized to call the first row this week, the second row next week, and so on? In that way you would be able to call everybody up in an orderly manner and make sure that everybody receives his turn."
The gabbai smiled and replied, "Oy, you come here for one Shabbos and want to understand everything? If you had been here over a period of several weeks, you would have realized that two weeks ago the man on the first bench had a yahrtzeit, and had to have an aliyah then. Last week the fellow behind him celebrated his son's Bar Mitzvah and he had to have an aliyah. The man on the third bench has been sick for the last few weeks and would have lost his turn according to your suggestion! And this week the fellow next to him is getting married, so naturally I had to give him an aliyah today. If I were to follow your advice, nobody would get his aliyah when he needs it and everyone would be unhappy."
So too, teaches the Chofetz Chaim, do we come into this world for a mere seventy or eighty years, and we want to understand everything! But in order to understand it we have to put it into the context of the whole universe, from the beginning of time until the end of days.
Our entire life has to fit into the picture of the whole creation from the beginning of time until the end of days. If only we could know the "whole picture" we would have no questions; we wouldn't ask "why me?" We would be able to accept everything, because it all makes perfect sense.
That is the meaning of Hashem was king and will be king. His being king now fits into the complete picture and His plan for the Universe from the very beginning of Creation until the end of time.
Rav Tauber related a story that happened to him. One day his grandson, Moshe, developed a peculiar bump on his chest. They were sent immediately to an oncology specialist. The two parents, of course, went; Rav Tauber, as grandfather, also went; after all it was his daughter's son. They didn't want little Moshe to come, they were afraid he would frightened to death. But he was very insistent and they had no choice but to take him. He probably won't understand anything anyway.
After all the examinations the doctor sat the family down. "This is a very serious case. Your son has developed a very aggressive cancer. You are very lucky you came now in the early stages. In two more weeks it would have been too late.
If left alone this cancer is deadly. But we know how to treat it and Moshe's chances of ridding himself of this cancer are very high." He then went on to describe the treatment in detail. First they would apply chemotherapy. Then an operation. After that radiation and another operation with more chemo. It would be a year of gehinom, very painful and uncomfortable. But after a year Moshe would be OK.
The doctor was a religious Jew from Sloan-Kettering. So he finished off with, "What you have to do is to daven. Daven that Hashem should agree with our plans and we shouldn't have any unexpected complications. That's happened too."
Throughout the discussion little Moshe sat there as if he didn't understand. But as the doctor explained how painful it would be he started sobbing. The parents felt that it was a terrible mistake to take him to the consultation.
But what they didn't know was that it was the biggest bracha. He knew what to expect. If they hadn't taken him he would have been absolutely petrified of the treatments. He would have screamed and yelled, "Why are you doing this to me!" Instead, yes he cried. It hurt. But he never complained. He understood everything that was being done and accepted it.
Today, B"H, little Moshe is cured. The cancer is gone and he was given a clean bill of health.
That's our job. To accept Hakadosh Baruch Hu as king: now, before the world was created, and after time ceases to exist.
Wishing everyone a Gut Gebentched Yahr!
Shema Yisrael Torah Network