Answers to commonly asked questions on the declaration of Yechi.
The answers to most of the questions are found explicitly in the Rebbe’s sichos. By looking into the sichos, not only are the answers found, but one sees there were no questions in the first place.
1. What are the sources for saying Yechi and what does it accomplish?
In the well-known sicha of Beis Nissan 5748 (Sefer HaSichos 5748, vol. 1, pgs 350, 351, 354), which marks 68 years since the Frierdiker Rebbe assumed leadership, the Rebbe discusses the concept of a Jewish king. The following are some of the main points of the sicha.
The relationship between the melech and the people is manifested in two opposite ways. On the one hand, the melech is totally exalted above the people which inspires awe and fear of the melech. On the other hand, the relationship between the nation and the melech is one of absolute connection. As the Rambam says, the melech is the heart of the Jewish people. We are the limbs. The connection that exists between the heart and the limbs of the body is the ultimate of closeness. Just like the body receives its life-force from the heart, the Jewish nation receives its life from the melech.
Not only does the nation receive its life from the melech, but the entire existence of the melech is dependent on the nation, as is written, “There is no melech without a nation.” The fact that the nation is removed from the melech directly affects his malchus – for true malchus of a melech pertains only to those who are removed from him.
Therefore, the Rebbe continues, when the nation announces yechi hamelech, as was done in connection to Shlomo Hamelech and Dovid Hamelech, this affects not only the existence of the king, but the life of the melech as well.
The Rebbe further explains that every year on the day of Beis Nissan, the nation gets an increase in life through the leader of the generation, and the people of the generation increase the life of the Nasi through the declaration yechi hamelech. This is all the more so in the year of 5748, which marks 68 (gematria of chaim) years of the Frierdiker Rebbe’s leadership.
Therefore, when the leader of our generation has attained the completion of chaim years of his service and deeds, there must be a fundamental increase of life by the act of the people through their declaration yechi hamelech – for it expresses the fact that the time has arrived for “Arise and sing, those who dwell in the dust” – my honored father-in-law, the Rebbe, Nasi of our generation — and up to and including “Arise and sing,” Dovid Malka Meshicha. In fact, these words (except for Dovid Malka Meshicha) were added by the Rebbe with his holy hand when editing the sicha for publication. This is the general content of the sicha. It is understood from the sicha that saying yechi hamelech brings about techiyas hamaisim.
The Rebbe also says that yechi hamelech brings the awakening of Melech HaMoshiach. It is interesting to note that we see a difference with the words that are used about the Frierdiker Rebbe. The Rebbe writes “Arise and sing, those who dwell in the dust”, referring to the idea of techiyas hamaisim. In reference to Moshiach, the Rebbe did not add “Those who dwell in the dust.” Only the words “Arise and sing” of Dovid Malka Meshicha are used.
The Rebbe also points out that Melech HaMoshiach has a greater connection to the nation than an ordinary melech since the neshama of every Jew has the level of yechida, which is a spark of Moshiach’s neshama. Therefore, every Jew has the power to affect that which yechi hamelech accomplishes.
2. Why don’t we just say the two words that are mentioned in the sicha, yechi hamelech? Why do we now say Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L’Olam Va’ed?
In the Beis Nissan sicha, the Rebbe cites Tanach as the original source for saying yechi hamelech. When one looks at the original source, it does not only say yechi hamelech, but it says Yechi Hamelech Shlomo, adding the name of the melech. In our case, this would mean that we say yechi hamelech and the Rebbe’s name. Since, however, we do not pronounce the Rebbe’s name, (even when called up for an aliya to the Torah, the Rebbe is announced as Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu ben HaRav Reb Levi Yitzchak), the appropriate expression to use is Yechi Hamelech Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu.
It should also be pointed out that Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu is a phrase that Chassidim have been saying in the Rebbe’s presence for years. During every children’s rally, the children recited the 12 posukim and concluded with yechi. The Rebbe heard the announcement and accepted it. After the Rebbe said to say yechi hamelech, it is inconceivable that it meant that it is no longer acceptable to say Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu. In fact, it was continued at the rallies after this sicha.
The words L’Olam Va’ed were added because L’Olam was originally used in reference to Dovid Hamelech when Batsheva proclaimed Yechi Adoni Hamelech Dovid L’Olam. The Rebbe refers to this in the Beis Nissan sicha and in the sicha of Parshas Toldos 5752 (Sefer HaSichos 5752, vol. 1, p. 133) where the Rebbe explains that Moshiach completes the reign of Dovid Hamelech. When the announcement of Yechi Adoni Hamelech Dovid L’Olam is made, the essence of Melech HaMoshiach is revealed. Only after this can Melech HaMoshiach be revealed through his activities.
The words Melech HaMoshiach are added to Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu according to the content of the sichos of Beis Nissan and Toldos. These sichas say that the words yechi hamelech are intended to bring about the revelation of Melech HaMoshiach and are the coronation of Moshiach. Therefore the word Moshiach is added to the proclamation.
The strongest endorsement that this announcement is proper is the fact that the Rebbe came out after davening, sometimes twice a day, sometimes more, and encouraged the singing of Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L’Olam Va’ed with all of his strength.
It is an avoda which the Rebbe guided, encouraged and inspired us to do. Once Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L’Olam Va’ed was said in front of the Rebbe and he accepted it and encouraged it time and time again, nothing more is necessary to show that this declaration is appropriate and acceptable.
3. What is the source that yechi should be said, and not only could be said, after Gimmel Tammuz?
Since announcing yechi gives life to the melech, and brings about the techiyas hameisim of the Frierdiker Rebbe and the awakening and revelation of Moshiach, how is it possible to even consider not saying yechi? On the contrary, during this time when there is a concealment, it is even more important to proclaim yechi in order to have the revelation and the awakening of Melech HaMoshiach.
There is also another point. We can get guidance on how to act in our time by reading what the Rebbe said in 5710 after the histalkus of the Frierdiker Rebbe. One central theme which we see clearly in all of the sichos and all the letters of the Rebbe after 5710 is that there should be absolutely no change in any previous avoda and no weakness in any avoda that was done before.
In one of the first letters after Yud Shevat 5710 (Igeres HaKodesh, vol 3, p. 237) the Rebbe writes… “we are still in total shock about the histalkus and it is very difficult to write letters…It is certain that the will of the Frierdiker Rebbe is and always was that there should not be, G-d forbid, any weakness in any avoda that was done under his leadership. And all those that are mekushar to him should only strengthen and reinforce themselves to continue to do everything as before.”
There is another letter in the same sefer, p. 327. The Rebbe writes: “It is clear and it is certain that the intention of the Frierdiker Rebbe and his true will is that every kind of avoda should continue just like before. And not only in the quality and quantity as it was, but as in every avoda, it should actually advance and develop more than before.”
This is found in the sichos as well. We especially see this in the sichos during Tammuz 5710. There is a sicha from Yud Beis Tammuz printed in Sichos Kodesh, p. 105. And in the sicha of Shabbos Parshas Shelach, p. 92, the Rebbe says not to change anything that the Frierdiker Rebbe told us. We should not even change the order of the way of what the Frierdiker Rebbe said.
In fact the Rebbe says that because the meraglim made a slight change, ultimately they came to the point of totally rebelling against Moshe Rabbeinu. And therefore the Rebbe concludes that all the work of the Frierdiker Rebbe should continue as before and nobody should use their seichel to interfere and make changes.
There are many other sichos and letters in which the Rebbe talks about not weakening or changing any of the work that was done under the guidance of the Frierdiker Rebbe. Some of the strongest words are found in a letter that is printed in Likkutei Sichos, vol. 19, p. 620. In this letter, someone asked the Rebbe whether or not he should continue doing certain activities. The Rebbe answered how important it is to actually advance and do more even though the person had valid reasons to stop. The Rebbe encouraged him to discuss it with the Lubavitcher Chassidim who work for his community. But the Rebbe says only those that are true community workers and those who are truly Anash. “And therefore, anybody who will tell you that it is better not to do, or someone who will try to weaken anything that you are doing which is in the spirit of the Frierdiker Rebbe, that person is not considered a community worker and is not considered of Anash of the Frierdiker Rebbe.” There is nothing stronger than this to prove the point.
It is therefore understood that the same applies to us as well. As stated above, since the Rebbe encouraged the singing of yechi with all of his strength, it is an avoda which the Rebbe guided us to do. To stop, G-d forbid, or show any weakness in this is going completely against everything that it says in the sichos. An individual who would even consider showing weakness in saying yechi must bring sufficient and convincing evidence beyond a shadow of a doubt to justify that thought. The burden of proof, so to speak, lies upon that individual to show that it no longer applies. When one looks into the sicha of Beis Nissan and it explains what yechi accomplishes – techiyas hamaisim and the awakening of Dovid Malka Meshicha – and it will bring us to see the Rebbe again, face to face, how is it possible for someone to think that it does not apply now?
4. If yechi has such power, why didn’t the Rebbe tell us to say it after 5710 when the Frierdiker Rebbe was nistalek? We should have said yechi then to bring back the Frierdiker Rebbe.
The answer to this, as with the other questions, is found in the sicha itself. Everyone understands that the ability to know what effect certain words will have is not something for people on our level. This is something which is only for a Rebbe. The Rebbe is the one to inform his Chassidim that this is what should be said and what it accomplishes.
When we look in the sicha where the Rebbe says to announce yechi, the Rebbe says that now (in 5748) that there is a certain completion of 68 years of the leadership of the Frierdiker Rebbe, the avoda of announcing yechi comes. So it’s clear that this is something which could not be done before.
This applies to all of the mivtzoyim as well. In the year 5718, the Rebbe introduced the idea of U’faratzta. The Rebbe did not introduce that before. In 5727 the Rebbe introduced mivtza tefillin, and in the following years new mivtzoyim were introduced. The Rebbe introduced Tzivos Hashem which has such a tremendous impact on children. Why didn’t the Rebbe introduce these before? The announcement of Ad Mosai was introduced in 5741. Why wasn’t that introduced before?And with so many hundreds of things that the Rebbe introduced at a certain time, the question could be asked, “Why didn’t he do it before?”
When the Rebbe came out with neshek, that was the time for it. When the Rebbe came out with mivtza tefillin, that was the time for it. And the Rebbe himself said many times how everything has its appropriate time to be revealed. Therefore, one cannot ask the question that if yechi is so powerful, why wasn’t it done before? This is especially so when the Rebbe himself explains that we should say it now because it is 68 years since the beginning of the Frierdiker Rebbe’s leadership.
5. If the sicha was said in 5748, why didn’t we announce it then? From that point and on, we should have been saying yechi hamelech every single day.
There are two ways to answer this question. One possibility is that we really should have begun to say yechi hamelech every day.
During one famous Shavuos farbrengen in 5724, the Rebbe spoke about Russian Jews. Then the Rebbe stopped and said “Nu?” Nobody in the crowd understood what the Rebbe wanted. And the Rebbe was very upset and said again, louder, “Nu?” And again nobody realized. Nobody knew what the Rebbe wanted. Finally, the Rebbe said that if the crowd would have said L’Chaim for the yidden in Russia, it would have made it possible for all the yidden who lived in Russia at the time to leave the country. “Tomorrow,” the Rebbe said, “people are going to write all kinds of questions – should I send this type of package to Russia or that type? If you would have all just said L’Chaim at this opportune time, it would have accomplished the release of all yidden from Russia.” Because we were unaware of that great opportunity, the moment was lost.
Likewise it is very possible that when the Rebbe said the sicha about yechi, we should have said it from that point and on.
There is also another possibility. After the histalkus of the Rebbetzin, the Rebbe said a famous sicha on motz’oei Shabbos Beis Adar, Parshas Terumah. This sicha is available on tape, in writing, and on video. The Rebbe discusses what to do if there would be a similar situation. The Rebbe makes it clear in the sicha that there is no doubt that if such a time comes, people with questions should turn to the local Chassidishe Beis Din of their communities. The implication is clear that there should be no one to replace the Rebbe, G-d forbid. There should not be any kind of centralized authority in control of all of Lubavitch. It is clear that in 5748, the Rebbe was addressing a future situation.
So, too, it could also be that in the sicha where the Rebbe talks about saying yechi – that this is something which gives life and health to the king – the Rebbe was mainly talking about something related to the future. The Chassidim first thought to reintroduce the declaration of yechi following the famous sicha of the 28th of Nissan, 5751, in which the Rebbe said to do everything you can to bring the revelation of Moshiach. This was further reinforced after the 27th of Adar, 5752. Chassidim were brainstorming about what to do to bring more life and health to the Rebbe, and they realized that the Rebbe had said that saying yechi adds more life to the Nasi. Perhaps we should have said yechi when the Rebbe was well, but we didn’t realize the neccessity then. Therefore it was begun only that night after the sicha. Possibly the Rebbe intended the announcement mainly for the time in the future when it would be relevant. What is definitely clear: once we began to say it regularly in 5753 and the Rebbe endorsed it, we know it is now relevant and must be continued.
May it be Hashem’s will that there should no longer be questions because immediately we will see the revelation of Moshiach with our physical eyes – we will see the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach leading us out of golus. And then not only Lubavitcher Chassidim and not only those people who respect the Rebbe and the Rebbe’s words, but the whole entire world will shout out together:
Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L’Olam Va’ed