"A moving eulogy for the dead, a sober, religiously-inflected reflection on the mystery of iniquity, and an explicit rebuke to partisan readings of this tragedy"
President Barack Obama quoted sripture:
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
That is from Psalms 46:5-6.
The commentatary Metzudat David, composed by the 18th century David Altschuler, who lived in Jaworow, Galicia, elucidates the meaning of the text. And I found there that he notes that the river is that which exits the Temple in Jerusalem as recorded in Yehezkel 47:1-2 - :
1 And he brought me back unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward, for the forefront of the house looked toward the east; and the waters came down from under, from the right side of the house, on the south of the altar. 2 Then brought he me out by the way of the gate northward, and led me round by the way without unto the outer gate, by the way of the gate that looketh toward the east; and, behold, there trickled forth waters on the right side.
For Rashi, it is the river that comes out of the Garden of Eden, Genesis 2:10 -
And a river went out of Eden to water the garden;
For Avraham Ibn-Ezra it is the Gihon in the Garden of eden and in Jerusalem.
Genesis 2:13 -
And the name of the second river is Gihon
and I Kings 1:32 - 33:
32 And king David said: 'Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.' And they came before the king. 33 And the king said unto them: 'Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon.
and 2 Chronicles 32:30 :
30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper spring of the waters of Gihon, and brought them straight down on the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works.
In any case, the lines refer to a reality in the Land of Israel, most probably a Temple-related vision of a renewed Jewish regime in the capital of Jerusalem in an independent sovereign Jewish country.
Just so that Obama should know.
And since we're on his speech, how different are his words than what we experienced in Israel in the aftermath of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin:
For the truth is none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack. None of us can know with any certainty what might have stopped these shots from being fired, or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man's mind. Yes, we have to examine all the facts behind this tragedy. We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of such violence in the future. (Applause.) But what we cannot do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on each other. (Applause.) That we cannot do. (Applause.) That we cannot do.
As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let's use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together. (Applause.)
Would that have been the atmosphere rather than the incitment against the religous and nationalist camps in Israel, which still goes on.