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January 20, 2005

Inaugural speech

I just read Bush's inaugural speech, and I was struck not simply by how deeply religious it was, in the very American sense, but by how there were noticeable echoes of Jewish texts.

The two that leapt out were:

1. Bush: "From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth."

Genesis 1:27: "And God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him."

2. Bush: "The great objective of ending tyranny is the concentrated work of generations. The difficulty of the task is no excuse for avoiding it."

Pirkei Avot 2:21: "You are not required to complete the task, but you are not free to desist from it."

The first allusion was obviously intentional. I'd be curious to know whether the second was.

UPDATE (1/21): Someone else noticed the allusion to Pirkei Avot.

UPDATE (1/24): Ouch! How could I have missed "Proclaim liberty throughout the land..."? Nice catch, Mona Charen.