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Tikkun Olam

Making bracelets and selling baked goods sounds like a modest way of repairing the entire world – even if all the proceeds go to rebuild homes and lives devastated by disasters in Puerto Rico and Mexico City. But the genius behind Judaism’s concept of Tikkun Olam – Repairing the World – lies in its modesty. We won’t fix our broken worlds by waiting for the few to engage in grand gestures. Tikkun Olam relies on humble but effective acts of lovingkindness. The ambitions behind Tikkun Olam are cosmic – repairing the whole world! But the scope is very much local: the neighborhood, the household, the kitchen table, the tzedakah box.

Last month, the entire SDJA community participated in these humble efforts at fixing our world. We made bracelets, raised money in our families, sold cookies in our neighborhoods, bought snacks at school and at athletic events, purchased flowers for Shabbat, all for Tikkun Olam.  Tikkun Olam is originally a Jewish mystical idea.  According to ancient rabbis, a primordial explosion accompanied the creation of the universe, sending harmful shards into the depths of our existence. Every act of human decency destroys a shard, and sends God’s light back into the void.  When each of us releases enough light into the heavens, the world will regain its original harmony.

The SDJA is committed to inspiring our students and parents to release their light into the world. November was a great Tikkun Olam month for our community. But it was also a typical month at SDJA, where we always strive to make our world a brighter place.

Rabbi Phil Graubart

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