"Nachamu Nachamu Ami" - (Yeshayahu 40,1) with no basis to concretely sense even a glint of hope or consolation – and yet despite all, they believed that these special Divine words would come true.
Today, we can truly say that we see the beginning of the consolation. Consider, for instance, the blessing of the Ingathering of the Exiles in our Shmoneh Esrei prayer: "Sounds a great shofar for our freedom… and gather us together from the four corners of the earth to our own land. You, G-d, source of blessing, ingather the dispersed His nation Israel." It is phrased in the present tense, yet for generations upon generations, there was no Ingathering and no Aliyah. Today, however, when we recite this blessing, we truly feel it happening; it is much more concrete.
Similarly, we have prayed for centuries: "To Jerusalem, Your city, return with mercy, and dwell in its midst as You have spoken, and build it very soon in our days, an everlasting structure… You, G-d, source of blessing, build Jerusalem." For most generations, Jerusalem was far from rebuilt; it was desolate and ruined. And today? Jerusalem and its suburbs are being built up at a great pace, and the blessing of "building Jerusalem" is happening before our eyes.
The Shulchan Arukh states that we should recite the thankful blessing that "G-d restores the widow's border"
Spiritually, as well, the Jewish Nation shows great signs of progress. The acute spiritual crisis that distanced many from true faith has been stopped, and a positive spiritual revolution is unfolding both in Israel and around the entire Jewish world. A "gate for those who knock in repentance," as we say in the High Holiday prayers, has been opened. The Torah is returning to the Land of Israel, to its natural home, and the sparkling lights of consolation that we see are encouraging and promising.
Yet we still require the words of the Prophet:
Who can truly console us? Who can truly provide words and deeds of comfort? No mortal can truly comfort us, not even the greatest or wisest of men. Only Hashem our G-d can do so, as the verse states,
It is that G-d, by His words, can effect the deeds and acts that bring us genuine comfort and consolation, because "the word of our G-d will last forever".