21 When they heard how I was sighing, There was none to comfort me; All my foes heard of my plight and exulted. For it is Your doing: You have brought on the day that You threatened. Oh, let them become like me!
sha-m’-U KEE ne-e-na-KHAH A-nee AYN m’-na-KHAYM LEE kol o-y’-VAI sha-m’-U ra-a-TEE SA-su KEE a-TAH a-SEE-ta hay-VAY-ta yom ka-RA-ta v’-yih-YU kha-MO-nee
כא שָׁמְעוּ כִּי נֶאֱנָחָה אָנִי אֵין מְנַחֵם לִי כָּל־אֹיְבַי שָׁמְעוּ רָעָתִי שָׂשׂוּ כִּי אַתָּה עָשִׂיתָ הֵבֵאתָ יוֹם־קָרָאתָ וְיִהְיוּ כָמוֹנִי׃
1:21 When they heard how I was sighing, there was none to comfort me
The prophet Yirmiyahu captures the sense of utter loneliness that prevailed after the destruction of Yerushalayim and the exile of the people. He describes their feeling that there was no one to stand by their side or to provide any sort of comfort in their time of need. Over many centuries of exile, Jews repeatedly experienced this same sense of abandonment. For example, over two and a half millennia following the destruction of Yerushalayim in Yirmiyahu’s time, as Hitler’s persecution mounted in the late 1930’s, many Jews desired to flee from Europe. Unfortunately, though, not a single country was willing to absorb Jewish refugees. In July of 1938, delegates from over thirty countries met in Évian-les-Bains, France, to discuss the refugee crisis. Despite many sympathetic speeches for the tragic plight of the Jews, no country was willing to significantly change their immigration quota to admit additional Jewish refugees. As this verse bemoans, the entire world had closed their doors to the Jewish people, abandoning them in their time of need. With the establishment of the State of Israel, however, the Jewish people now have a home. Never again will they be left alone with no one to protect and comfort them. As Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik writes in his essay Kol Dodi Dofek, ‘The Voice of my Beloved Knocks,’ “A Jew who flees from a hostile country now knows that he can find a secure refuge in the land of his ancestors… Jews who have been uprooted from their homes can find lodging in the Holy Land.”