On the ‘Tikkun Olam’ Fetish

“The central mitzvah or commandment for our era is the mitzvah of Tikkun Olam. It is the defining mission of Jews to strive for the repair of the world by making society more just, fair, egalitarian, and sensitive. Judaism demands that we repair the world by striving for social justice. It is the mission of Jews in the Divine Plan for the universe to repair the world by repairing man, by improving and advancing mankind.”

The above paragraph is a fair representation of what has become the defining raison d’etre of Judaism as conveyed by non-Orthodox liberal Jewish organizations and synagogues in America. It is not a direct citation from any of them, but is an accurate paraphrase of what has become the canon of non-Orthodox Jewish liberalism in our time.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    The central commandment of Judaism is “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” The far left says, “Thou shalt love they neighbor more than thyself.” Nowhere is this admonition found in Judaism. Living for others implies that others are supposed to live for us, which is not how society properly works.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    A great article that probably needs to be published at Taki Mag and then nailed to the door of every leftist synagogue in the west.
    However, at the end of the day, he is making a religious argument toward a group that largely self identify as illreligious and who instead have taken up the mantle of leftism to fill the void, and as almost all converts, they are the most extreme and ardent practitioners of their new found “faith”.
    I’d love to hear from some Jews here on either how this virus of collectivist thought got grafted onto their belief system and religion, or if this author’s narrative or assertion is false.
    This does seem to be a recurring theme within Jewish intellectual circles for the last two hundred years or so and has caused endless human misery.
    If it’s really not authentic, then where did it come from?

  • k1962

    An interesting read. I’m sick of hearing about Tikkun Olam in my community. It is exactly as the author states, a substitute for real Jewish practices and values.

    • marty_p

      My Tikkun Olam does not include aiding and abetting Muslim migrants pretending to be refugees.
      My Tikkun Olam does include buying a couple of trees during yesterday’s Tu B’Shevat telethon yesterday:

      • k1962

        That is Tzedakah, but if you want to call it Tikkun Olam than my practise of it is exactly like yours. I bought 3 trees this year for Tu B’shevat. JNF was a very big part of my grandmother’s life and she volunteered countless hours with them and many other Jewish charities (and gave money to Canadian charities). So that along with cancer, heart and other Canadian charities that will be where my donations go. My synagogue’s appeal to help settle a “Kurdish” refugee family, NO. Leave that to Trudeau and liberals. It was their promise, not mine and if they are running short of funds English classes, homes and help, too bad. I supported Harper’s numbers and Harper’s smart so-called cherry picking. Many Kurds may be fine, but they are still Sunni’s and I have heard that some of them have also volunteered with ISIS.

  • Barrington Minge

    Funny, you don’t see Jews cutting off heads and blowing things up…

    • luna

      No, but you do see some Jews sympathizing with the “opposed freedom fighters” who chop off heads and blow things up.

      • k1962

        Along with other liberals.

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      That’s not a very high bar, but disregarding that, so what?

      • luna

        I will cite Noam Chomsky as one example.


        • Drunk_by_Noon

          So… without me watching an hour and a half long Noam Chomsky video, are you agreeing with me?

          • luna

            Chomsky is a well meaning outspoken non-religious Jewish anarchist.

            I agree his ideas which are essentially anti-government pose a greater threat to peace, freedom and security than your typical jihadist foot soldier.

        • k1962

          He’s a Jew by birth and nothing more. He is a Jew without the Jewish soul.

          • luna

            He was raised Jewish, but considers himself non-religious. His ideas are his own and in particular are not based necessarily on Judaism.

            He’s no super-villain, but he is an influential intellectual whose anti-government message resonates with those who consider the U.S. & Israel to be the biggest obstacles to peace and freedom.

            To some extent he’s right of course, no one wants to live in a police state. However, his hardline anarchist message lacks balance in my opinion. Just because I don’t want to live in a police state doesn’t mean the government is necessarily malicious, as he often portrays it, while he praises “freedom fighters”.

          • k1962

            Just because he’s Jewish doesn’t mean he speaks for me or most Jews. He is so anti-Israel. I heard him on a program once and he couldn’t hate Israel more. What kind of Jew is that that spreads hate against his own people.

          • luna

            I don’t believe he speaks for most Jews, certainly he doesn’t speak for me. He may speak for my mother, or siblings who would identify as either reform, or non-religious.

      • canminuteman

        Yes, Julius and Ethyl Rosenberg to name just two.

    • canminuteman

      But they have been highly over represented in communist revolutions world wide. 4 of the 6 leaders who tried to over through the Bavarian government in the post WW1 period in Germany causing a civil war which aided in the Nazis rising to power were jews.

    • k1

      I beg to differ!
      Have you noticed…
      Organized Crime criminals seem to be very religious too
      I am truly blown away by what I am learning!

  • luna

    This is an interesting topic, I admit I was largely unaware of the history or controversy associated with these ideas. Thanks for sharing BCF!

    For the interested reader here are some additional perspectives:

    The movement for reform Judaism: Tikkun Olam

    The Fallacy, Delusion and Myth of Tikkun Olam

  • miki

    simple jew

    i do not know how com they are jews.
    i live in the “old” world and for us here liberal jews
    are as jewish as catholics, budists or JFJ’s.
    its not judaism at all.
    we even do not count them to a minian, nore to the thora, god forbid!

  • maxusminimax

    tikun olam like samson did, or debora, judith or the macabees.
    hmmm for me IDF is Tikun Olam!