Tikkun Olam . . . Repair the World

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I posted this in March. As we commemorate the tragedy of 9/11, I want to repost this with the prayer that all of us will join hands and hearts to repair the world.

“In Judaism, we call it ‘tikkun olam,’ repairing the world.”

That statement was in a message I received yesterday from a good friend. What a wonderful phrase, tikkun olam, repairing the world! Her comment intrigued me and made me sad, all at once, because what we so desperately need in these days is to repair the world.

I think first of the brash, inconsiderate, racist and harmful comments and actions that are marking our presidential race.

I consider that 4.6 million Syrians are refugees, and 6.6 million are displaced within Syria. Half of those are children

I consider that in 2016 there were 2,305 deaths in the U.S. caused by gun violence, and that 611 children and teens were killed or injured.

I consider the health tragedy in Flint, Michigan, where 6,000 to 12,000 children have been exposed to drinking water with high levels of lead which cause then to experience a range of serious health problems. The corrosive Flint River water caused lead from aging pipes to leach into the water supply, causing extremely elevated levels of the heavy metal.

I consider that the tone of our country sounds more like raising walls than like building bridges.

I consider that gentleness, love and kindness seem to be rare among us.

Oh, that we had the courage, the knowledge and the power to repair the world!

We harm our world in so many different ways.

Isaiah 61:4 speaks of days of old that feel much like our days. “Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, They will raise up the former devastations; And they will repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations.”

May God grant that we will not continue in the path that might be described “the desolations of many generations.” May our generation find the will and the way to repair the world . . . Tikkun olam.

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