Tikkun Olam: A Public Policy Focus

By Steve Gutow

Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA), Fall 2000

For centuries, Jewish texts have exhorted their readers to alleviate the unjust troubles of the world. This focus on tikkun olam can be found in four themes throughout Jewish thought: (1) the revelation at Sinai as a call to action, (2) Judaism's ethical teachings, (3) the persecution of Jews throughout history, and (4) an underlying belief that a person should not surrender in the face of difficult obstacles. Responding to these inherent teachings of Judaism, prominent Jewish figures have contributed greatly to social justice. Today, however, Jews' commitment to political activism is flagging; fear of offending donors or detracting from Jewish causes has kept Jews from their religious and historical commitment to social action. Nevertheless, going beyond simple "Mitzvah Days" and embracing fully the value of tikkun olam can restore Judaism's natural place in the betterment of the world.

Topic: Morality, Social Justice, Tikkun Olam, Ethics, Jewish Text, Values

Name of Publication: The Reconstructionist

Editor: Hirsh, Richard

Volume/Issue: Vol. 65/No. 1

Page Number(s): 46-53

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Genre: Article

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Gutow, Steve. Tikkun Olam: A Public Policy Focus. The Reconstructionist. Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA). Fall 2000: 46-53. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=5892


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