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Social Action: Responding to the World – Tikkun Olam

From the imperative that God envisioned for Abraham, the first Jew and his descendants, “to keep the way of God by doing what is right and just” to Leviticus’ demand “Love your neighbor as yourself” to Micah’s famed declaration, “it has been told to you what is good and what the Lord requires of you, only to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” and throughout the Torah, Prophets Writings, Rabbinic writings and beyond, the central defining characteristic of Judaism and demand of God is for the establishment of justice and kindness.

To be a Jew is to be claimed by those twin imperatives and to live them out in deed toward individuals and in the larger social setting.

When the great Rabbi Akika taught that “Love your neighbor as yourself” is the all-encompassing principle of Judaism and the great Rabbi Hillel once asked for a definition of Judaism replied “what is hateful to another do not do, that is the whole Torah” they were offering something simple yet profound. It is Love as expressed in justice and compassion upon which Judaism rests. The great Jewish mystics building on the Biblical and Talmudic imperatives and their application saw the world as broken and in need of healing or repair called “Tikkun Olam”

Like them, our congregation is deeply committed to the twin imperatives of justice and compassion as we confront the community, nation and world.

We Jews are called the “Children of Prophets” and in keeping with the prophetic imperatives, we believe we dare not close our eyes to the pain, suffering and injustice everywhere and anywhere.

A listing of resources and volunteer opportunities for this kind of religious social action allows members to respond to the world confronting injustice and indifference so as to engage in Tikkun Olam – the repair of the world.