Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said; ‘G‑d has seen my affliction, for now my husband will love me.’”

-Vayeitzei 29:32

G‑d had seen Leah’s pain-that she was barren-and granted her a child. The birth of that child, in turn, evoked Jacob’s love for her.

Our sacred writings compare the relationship between G‑d and Israel to that between a husband and wife. The verse and concept cited, therefore, applies to this analogy as well:

In the time of the galut (exile), Israel-the “wife”-suffers from spiritual poverty and deprivation: the Holy Temple, site of the Divine Presence, is destroyed; we have been exiled from our land-i.e., there is no full settlement of all of Israel throughout all the territories of the Holy Land. In a time like this, the special love and affection between Israel and G‑d appears to be concealed and is not fully expressed in the open.

Nonetheless, when the Almighty notes that even during such difficult times of affliction, the people of Israel steadfastly continue to strengthen themselves against all spiritual problems and obstacles to remain faithful to G‑d, this evokes that “now my Husband will love me.” That love becomes manifest to the fullest extent.

This, then, is the meaning of the verse cited: “G‑d has seen my affliction”-G‑d observes the people of Israel as they are in the galut; “for now”-when they continue the observance of Torah and mitzvot in spite of that affliction, “my Husband will love me”-the love of G‑d for His people Israel will be fully restored and expressed in the full and imminent redemption.