Repair the World
jlm
Repair The World
VALUES
 
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Tikkun olam--to repair the world is the notion that we are G-d’s partners in perfecting the world and we can repair and transform a broken world.


Tikkun means "repairing"; olam means "world, cosmos, eternity."  The Mishnah tells us that we need to help others beyond what may be required, "for the sake of tikkun olam." In the Aleinu prayer we express our hope for a repaired world through recognition of G-d’s dominion over us.  In the 16th century, Isaac Luria expanded our understanding of tikkun olam:  With each mitzvah, we help repair the world around us.  Today, the words tikkun olam are often used as shorthand for "efforts to better the world," such as reading to an at-risk child, serving meals at a homeless shelter, or speaking out on an important matter of public policy.


The mitzvah of tikkun olam obliges us both to serve immediate needs and to work toward the prevention of hunger, homelessness, disease, ignorance, abuse, and oppression among all people, as well as working toward preserving the health of the environment upon which all life depends.


While individual acts of tzedakah and g’milut chasadim manifest a commitment to making the world a more caring and compassionate place, there are occasions when tikkun olam, the healing of our world, may most effectively be achieved by taking collective action.


Questions for Reflection:

1. How much of our commitments should be dedicated to tikkun olam over other values?

2. What motivates you to fix or repair the world?

3. What does an ideal world, fully repaired, look like to you?

4. How can you incorporate the value of tikkun olam in your classroom?


Take care of the world--show how much you love it by helping to clean it and working toward fixing any problems you might find.

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