a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Tikkun Olam

Posted on: October 9, 2010

It is clearly the duty of every Jew to seek justice.  In a world unredeemed, a word that is damaged, it is the job of every Jew to participate in tikkun olam/repair of the word.  In areas of social justice, social action, Judaism has set itself clear mandates “You shall do what is right and good,” we are told in Deuteronomy 6:18 Essential Judaism by George Robinson

However, a commitment to tikkun olam requires, almost by definition, attention to many issues that are not strictly limited to Jewish interest, among them, the environment and ecology, nuclear disarmament and international peace, and equal protection for all, regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation, or national origin Living a Jewish Life by Anita Diamant

Repair the world is the definition of Tikkun Olam and it is the duty of all Jews to do such.  Yesterday was my 31st birthday and I visited the Museum of Jewish Heritage.  One of the first experiences you have is in a octagonal room filled with screens.  The surround sound fills the space and you hear the voices of Jews from around the globe.  Some of them have accents of European descent and others of Southern American origins.  Before your eyes you see pictures of Jews of different shades and you hear some of the horrors of Jewish discrimination.  The peace ends with Tikkun Olam and one of the speakers reminds the watchers that we’re not just repairing the world for Jews, but for all people.

I attended a Flash Mob at Grand Central Terminal displaying how homophobia kills.  When the whistle blew a few minutes after 6PM and the dozens of bodies slowly collapsed to the marble floors of Grand Central I felt moved and inspired.  How is this Jew to be going to repair the world and whose world would I repair?


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