A look at the progenitor or forefather of the tribes and faith groups believing in and following the Only One True God of Israel.
Time to come face to face with the King in the field.
Today, Wednesday, the 20th day of the Jewish month of Menachem Av (August 21), marks 75 years since the untimely passing of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, of righteous memory, father of the Rebbe, of righteous memory. Rabbi , was respected as one of the greatest Talmudic and Kabbalistic scholars of his generation. He served as [...]
The Hebrew phrase tikkun olam (pronounced tee-KOON oh-LUHM) means "world repair." In modern Jewish circles, tikkun olam has become synonymous with the notion of social action and the pursuit of social justice. Created in the image of God each human being is requested to come close to the Bo're and to be a partaker of a marvellous peaceful world to which each member has to contribute out of free will. In order for the balance between good and evil intended by God to be restored, humans must be involved in the world's reparation and can not keep aside or aloof or 'do nothing' to get social justice or a better world.
- point of Judaism = tasked with mission > Judaism antidote to many of the greatest problems we face in the 21st Century.
- religion gives a sense of community, purpose + meaning.
- why progressive Judaism = our way forward
- Progressive Judaism has come under attack.
- Jonathan Neumann’s book entitled ‘To Heal the World?’ its subtitle – ‘How the Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism and Endangers Israel’ – tells everything you need to know about this book. = argues that progressive Jews distorted Judaism + created their own denomination, completely divorced from tradition.
- Jewish mysticism > world in which we live = broken => through pursuit of social justice > begin to heal it => (for Neumann) idea = innovation = ideology of American New Left + Jewish theology.
- ‘tikkun olam’ new development= rallying cry to bring together many of issues on which Jewish community in America was campaigning, particularly black civil rights, women’s liberation + international peace.
- idea > Judaism’s core = one of social justice = integral to progressive Judaism since its inception.
- Rabbi Abraham Geiger in 19th Century Germany, argued > soul of Judaism =/= in its laws > = in its prophetic texts.
- Reformers repositioned Judaism from its narrow focus on ritual to universalist message of justice.
- Prophet Elijah harbinger of messianic redemption = first among our prophets to promise that messianic age is coming.
- promise of liberation = built into very understanding of what it means to live a Jewish life => must participate in building it through pursuit of justice, by following consciences, + by seeking to make the world a more loving place.
- tikkun olam’ message can be found throughout the Tanakh, rabbinic literature, + our liturgy = core of what Judaism calls on us to do.
- Neumann argues deviation from traditional Judaism > progressive Judaism must be contrasted with ‘traditional’ Judaism => seems not to understand Orthodox Judaism = a modern innovation = response to modern world, that takes a conservative approach to life + a dogmatic approach to commandments.
- at our most Jewish when we are sharing food with others.
- Neumann’s idea of traditional Judaism = narrow + limiting
- progressives, halachic observance + social justice are not competitors = complement each other.
- food laws help > force to think ethically about consumption.
- Shabbat = joy > teaches value of rest + holiness of God.
- All rules + rituals have value > turn us into disciplined, conscientious people, who will seek out justice when it is necessary.
- Progressive Judaism > point of Judaism =/= rules in themselves => = pursuit of better world through rules
- message = clear > short time on earth + here with a mission => tasked with a sacred purpose of perfecting the world, demanding justice and pursuing peace = point of Judaism +> Let us work to heal the world together.
What is the point of Judaism?
Last night, I gave a defence of Judaism for the disengaged. I argued that religion gives us a sense of community, purpose and meaning. I talked about how Judaism is an antidote to many of the greatest problems we face in the 21st Century.
This morning, I want to talk about why progressive Judaism, specifically, ought to be our way forward. Progressive Judaism has, in recent years, come under attack. Last year, Jonathan Neumann released a book entitled ‘To Heal the World?’. Its subtitle – ‘How the Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism and Endangers Israel’ – probably tells you everything you need to know about this book.
In it, he argues that progressive Jews have distorted Judaism and created their own denomination, completely divorced from tradition. He pours scorn on one idea in particular, that of ‘tikkun olam’. The basic premise of this…
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- Tikkun olam = Hebrew for “to heal or to repair the world.” = popular catchphrase among left wing American Jewish rabbis + social activists > ancient teaching of Judaism =>religious foundation for their politics.
- Jonathan Neumann concludes in To Heal the World that it isn’t = argues tikkun olam provides a religious covering for a political ideology: “social justice” arrived via non-religious means.
- “Social justice = political philosophy advocating redistribution of income + wealth + other property in order to achieve economic egalitarianism
- social justice includes an agenda of permissive social policies that leave lifestyle questions to the discretion of individual + promotes gender diversity
- attitudes + policies associated predominantly with today’s left-wing political parties
- perceive social justice through prism of intersectionality
- To Heal the World doesn’t offer a comprehensive critique of social-justice policies => deconstructs notion that tikkun-olam-as-social-justice bears any necessary relationship to Judaism = social justice scheme promulgated by the Jewish left “corrupts Judaism + endangers Israel”
- 18th + 19nth centuries, European Jews began to experience increasing freedom from legal restraints + social prejudices that had hitherto been placed on their communities by Christian states. => shed particularistic rituals of traditional Judaism + emphasize Judaism’s universalistic ethics (Kantian)
- postwar America > commitment to universalistic ethics > expressed as tikkun olam.
- Reform Judaism’s relationship to traditional Judaism critical from the beginning > at its inception to distance itself from Judaism as it had been practiced historically. + universalizing mode rendered Jewish particularism highly problematic, including its longings for Zion.
- In early to mid-twentieth century, Reform Judaism rethought both these points, + sought to root its thinking in Tanakh + to give qualified support to the nascent Jewish state.
- Jewish Left’s use of tikkun olam = problematic. > tikkun olam itself “never meant what American Jews now understand the term to mean.”
- tikkun olam/social justice Judaism problematizes very existence of Jewish identity > moral themes derived from sources other than the Bible.
- Social justice has no need for Jews > involves their very dissolution into rest of humanity.
- Jews ancient heritage something unique to say = particularism for sake of universalism, > precedent deep in Bible + Jewish tradition = through Abraham’s offspring all nations on earth will be blessed
- leftwing Judaism and tikkun olam parallel with liberal Protestantism + “Social Gospel.”
- Reform Judaism drew part of its inspiration from Social Gospel movement. => question whether relationship between Social Gospel + traditional Christianity is as biblically + theologically problematic as th relationship between tikkun olam + traditional Judaism.
- Whole Grain Judaism Part 2
- Yes, to heal the world
- Constructivist: Tikkun Olam
- Tikkun or fixing… happiness or misery… the invisible dynamic
- Tikkun Olam
- The Tikkun Olam Behind Big Business
- Ki Tisa – Torah Portion
- Repairing the World.
- Mystical Activism
- My niece’s Tikkun Olam project supports keeping families together
- What Does Israel do for the World?
- The Heart Repair of Hanukkah: Blessing Each Other’s Light
- Tending the Light ~ Justice & Equality for All
- Repairing the World
- Jonathan Sacks – Jerusalem, the Beating Heart of Jewish Faith
- How Israel Treats Her Neighbors
- I came for the Zionism, I stayed for the everything else
- The Worst of Israel
Tikkun olamis Hebrew for “to heal the world.” It has become a popular catchphrase among leftwing American Jewish rabbis and social activists. According to them, it is an ancient teaching of Judaism, and therefore a religious foundation for their politics.
The only problem is that it isn’t. At least that’s what Jonathan Neumann concludes in To Heal the World. He argues that tikkun olamprovides a religious covering for a political ideology that has been arrived at via nonreligious means. And that political ideology is “social justice.”
Here’s how Neumann defines that political ideology:
“Social justice is a political philosophy that advocates the redistribution of income—and sometimes even wealth and other property—in order to achieve economic egalitarianism…. In more recent decades, social justice has also come to include an agenda of permissive social policies that leave lifestyle questions to the discretion of the individual and promote gender diversity…
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- Social justice = vital factor of Reform Judaism.
- Reform Jew need to hear spoken word pertaining to the prophets => tikkun olam = to make attempt to enhance world for which we all live.
- Reform Jew = God’s partners in taking a stand > voiceless + shattered in our culture
- Reform Jews pushed by extreme amount of concerns > fundamental to Jewish awareness of the prophetic communication of Jewish faith
- Reform Jews proclaim that maintaining a strong safety net for those who are most vulnerable = modern manifestation of our obligation to “leave the corners of our fields for the poor and needy” (Leviticus 19:9).
- family values include supporting
- Reform Judaism stands for certain principles
- Reform Jews take pride in their long history of “speaking truth to power.”
- Active commitment to social justice = hallmark of Reform Judaism => commitment inspires Reform congregations across North America to pursue a wide range of activities designed to l’taken et ha’olam, to mend the world.
- key tenet of Reform Judaism = openness to the “other” => Social Action Judaism > speak out on behalf of the vulnerable
- Reform Jews make collective effort to bring progressive, values to bear in the community at large.
Social justice is a vital factor of Reform Judaism. The Reform Jew need to hear the spoken word pertaining to the prophets within our mind; to become interested in the continual services of tikkun olam; to make an attempt to enhance the world for which we all live. A Reform Jew is one who is God’s partners in taking a stand when it comes to voiceless and taking care of what is shattered in our culture.
Reform Jews are pushed by an extreme amount of concerns, every single one fundamental to Jewish awareness of the prophetic communication of Jewish faith and imperative to producing the kind of environment all people prefer to bequeath to individuals who follow us. Reform Jews are also presented by those who maintain to communicate in the identity of religious beliefs nonetheless who offer a distinctive interpretation of what God desires of for all people and…
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Hebrew as the irreplaceable language of Jewish expression is the second core value of Conservative Judaism. According to them its existence is coterminous with that of the Jewish people and the many layers of the language mirror the cultures in which Jews perpetuated Judaism. It was never merely a vehicle of communication, but part of [...]
- power of Emperor
- power of Church
- no more escape for poets > fight against witches + burning of heretics.
- astronomy special target of flaming intolerance
- dark ages > Umayyads, penetrating into Spain, to bring back conscience books of astronomy survived in Arabic translations => Alhambra, palace + fortress of Moorish monarchs of Granada, Spain = center of full ferment for translations + spread of knowledge.
- expulsion of Jews + Arabs from Spain, persecution of Cathars, Waldensians + Albigensians in the whole Europe.
- All power against wishful thought of poetry > poetry = inextinguishable force. > legacy collected + transmitted through hermetic compositions of alchemists opposed to power of Rome => historical expressions of Reformation + Enlightenment derived
a fragment from the essay published in Academicus XX:
During the Middle Age and until the Renaissance, power is represented by the two eagles: the power of the Emperor and the power of the Church. There is no more escape for the poets: and the effects is given by the fight against witches, and the burning of heretics. Already with the making of religion of the Empire, Christianity had led to the destruction of the Library of Alexandria and the suppression of the Olympic Games. All the books dealing with astronomy were the special target of the flaming intolerance of the unique power of the two swords. In the dark ages, the uncertain light has been coming through the Umayyads, penetrating into Spain, to bring back that conscience that since the unification of religion and empire, it was been removed in Europe: even considered lost, the books of astronomy survived…
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- personalities portrayed showing same hand’s gesture > showing traditional gesture of benediction = birkhat cohanim = traditional (regular) sign of Israel’s tradition.
- sign as reference > Israel’s inherithors lose birthright to be considered part of mystical body of Israel after conversion to Catholicism or (especially in Eastern countries) to Islam
The personalities portrayed are showing the same hand’s gesture. Maybe, we should be able to explain what does it mean that gesture, and the better way can be to show the traditional gesture of benediction, which is the following one: as you can see, the birkhat cohanim, the benediction sign is given posing a division between the fingers two by two, exceptioning the thumb. It is to say that it is not a natural gesture, because that division can not be obtained without have reference with the will to impress that shape.
This is the traditional (regular) sign of Israel’s tradition. If so, what about the former? The composition of the second and third finger in distance from the index and the little finger is even more difficult than the regular division, and many people are not able at all in performing it, if they don’t hold on with…
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- origin of Ashkenazi Jews, who come most recently from Europe > at least their maternal lineage may derive largely from Europe.
- finding contradicts notion that European Jews mostly descend from people who left Israel + Middle East around 2,000 years ago.
- substantial proportion of population originates from local Europeans who converted to Judaism
- Little known about history of Ashkenazi Jews before they were expelled from the Mediterranean + settled in what is now Poland around the 12th century.
- Ashkenazi Jews genetically as closely related to each other as fourth or fifth cousins
- Past research = 50 percent to 80 percent of DNA from Ashkenazi Y chromosome originated in the Near East => supports story wherein Jews came from Israel + largely eschewed intermarriage when they settled in Europe. [The Holy Land: 7 Amazing Archaeological Finds]
- historical documents tell slightly different tale > by time of destruction of Second Temple in A.D. 70 > 6 million Jews living in the Roman Empire > outside Israel, mainly in Italy and Southern Europe. <= only about 500,000 lived in Judea
- major Jewish communities were outside Judea
- four founders responsible for 40 percent of Ashkenazi mitochondrial DNA > originated in Europe.
- more than 80 percent of maternal lineages of Ashkenazi Jews traced to Europe, with only a few lineages originating in the Near East.
- debunk one of most questionable hypotheses: that most Ashkenazi Jews can trace their roots to mysterious Khazar Kingdom that flourished during the ninth century in region between Byzantine Empire + Persian Empire
- founding Ashkenazi women = converts from local European populations.
By Tia Ghose, Staff Writer | October 8, 2013
The origin of the Ashkenazi Jews, who come most recently from Europe, has largely been shrouded in mystery. But a new study suggests that at least their maternal lineage may derive largely from Europe.
Though the finding may seem intuitive, it contradicts the notion that European Jews mostly descend from people who left Israel and the Middle East around 2,000 years ago. Instead, a substantial proportion of the population originates from local Europeans who converted to Judaism, said study co-author Martin Richards, an archaeogeneticist at the University of Huddersfield in England.
Little is known about the history of Ashkenazi Jews before they were expelled from the Mediterranean and settled in what is now Poland around the 12th century. On average, all Ashkenazi Jews are genetically…
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The broigus or the non-willingness to talk to the other-one or enemy, has created more non-understanding and ridiculous division instead of co-operation or acceptance of differences. Still today there is perhaps even more exclusion in Judaism and unnecessary isolation and exclusion, instead of getting to know each other more and working together as equals working [...]
"Our own life journeys begin where the previous generation's journey ends, and this is the case throughout all the generations. This means that our own personal journeys began long ago, "along the Jordan from Beit Yeshimot to Avel Shittim, in the plains of Moav," (ibid 33:49) Israel's final point of departure in the wilderness. Together [...]
The Jews of Cuba “struggled to survive after the revolution,” says Mayra Levy, the president of Havana’s Hebrew Sephardic Center. About 95 percent of Cuba’s Jews — some 15,000 people — left the island in 1959, following Fidel Castro’s revolution against dictator Fulgencio Batista. The Jewish exodus was fueled by Castro’s attacks on capitalism, in which Jews, [...]
On this special Shabbat before Pesach we check if we ourselves and our brothers are clean enough to leave the door-posts with the blood of the lams for going through the wall of water, leaving slavery of the world behind.