Tikkun Olam: Basic Questions and Policy Directions

By Yehudah Mirsky

Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI), 2008

Recent years have seen a surge of projects in social justice, humanitarianism, ecology and similar endeavors, aiming both to bolster Jewish identity and enhance Jews' standing with other communities, and expressed in terms of Tikkun Olam. This traditional term, literally meaning "repair and restoration of the world," has come to signify a Jewish commitment to ethically charged social activism, and well beyond the parameters of Jewish communities as such. This paper seeks to suggest some lines of conceptual order and clarity that can help us make sense of the welter of activities that are and may be pursued under the rubric of Tikkun Olam; to lay out the pros and cons of different forms of activity in their various rubrics; to raise some hopefully constructive questions and criticisms regarding these activities as a whole and their place in organized Jewish life; and, in closing, to suggest some tentative policy directions for Jewish activists, professionals and concerned citizens that may help focus the work of Tikkun Olam and better realize the potential good it may work for the Jewish people at large and the family of humanity as a whole.

Topic: Halakha, Jewish Law, Social Justice, Tradition, Tikkun Olam, Jewish Identification, Global Responsibility

Name of Publication: Facing Tomorrow

Page Number(s): 213-229

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Genre: Article

Coverage: World

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Author

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Mirsky, Yehudah. Tikkun Olam: Basic Questions and Policy Directions. Facing Tomorrow. Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI). 2008: 213-229. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=5245


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