Judaism is More Than Tikkun Olam

Posted on July 27, 2011

     A very important article by Joel Alperson, titled, “Judaism is more than ‘tikkun olam,'” discusses the Jewish emphasis on tikkun olam and how we must work on strengthening our Judaism with additional aspects of our traditions.  Judaism at it’s core is being a good person.  Having good morals, ethics, and integrity fulfill a major part of Judaism which we should work hard to uphold.

This is a quote I find to be particularly important:  “This distancing from Jewish religious (i.e., God-based) teachings and ritual experiences inevitably leads to a distancing from Jewish purpose.  So Jews increasingly try to find their Judaic meaning in social / political causes (immigration reform, Supreme Court appointments, environmentalism, women’s rights, etc).  Putting aside the merit of the positions taken, let’s be honest: These ‘tikkun olam’ pursuits might feel good and even do some good, but they do little to build Jewish communities.”

     In order for philanthropy to be meaningful to the participants, it must be done in a way that personally resonates with them and allows them to feel purposeful.  All philanthropy is a great and beautiful thing, but  specifically here at Areyvut, keeping our Jewish values within the philanthropy that we set out to do enables our work to be fulfilling knowing we are reaching out to our fellow Jews and helping teens helps others.  Judaism puts an emphasis on caring about one another and doing chesed and what better way than to help fellow Jews help other fellow Jews?  This article recognizes that importance and Areyvut is glad to be an organization that is all about “tikkun olam” in every positive sense.

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