The Kli Yakar points out that sometimes, the Jewish people are compared to stars, and sometimes to sand of the seashore, and sometimes even to dust: “Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth” (Beresheit 28:14).
Stars represent greatness, both in quantity and longevity.
The Kli Yakar further explains: “Sand corresponds to the times when the nations rise up against Yisrael to destroy them.” Yet he says that not only will the nations ultimately be unable to prevail over the Jewish people, but the Jewish people will prevail over their enemies.
So dust corresponds to times of degradation for Am Yisrael. The Kli Yakar remarks: “The reason for this is that Yisrael does not sincerely seek God except at a time when they are in complete degradation. This is well-known from the ways of past generations as well as today’s generation.”
So don’t despair! Our lowliest state is precisely what gives us the ability to rise.
Rabbi Shlomo Ephraim of Luntschitz (1550-1619) lived in Bohemia (which is today Poland and Czechoslovakia). He served as rabbi and dayan and wrote several books, the most well-known being his commentary on the Chumash known as the Kli Yakar.