Okay, let's talk about Tikkun Olam ("repairing the world"):
First off, let's talk about what it is NOT. Tikkun Olam is not a core precept of Judaism. So why are some Jews so hung up on it? Because it is intolerable to them that Judaism is not a moralizing religion.
The origin of Tikkun Olam is not actually Halacha (religious law), but Jewish Mysticism- Kabbalah. Kabbalah shares many characteristics with Gnosticism, including the belief that the physical world is inherently flawed and bad.
According to Lurianic Kabbalah, the world was created in a catastrophe where the aspects of God shattered and became dispersed across the spheres. Fixing the world means reuniting the aspects of divinity.
Here are several things to keep in mind:
1. This cool story is in complete contradiction with the Biblical text of Genesis.
2. Tikkun Olam here is not achieved by a generic "doing good" but by being a godly person.
Some secular Jews have hijacked the term and seem to have taken it literally to mean that Jews bear a special responsibility over the world's moral problems. Not only is that not what Tikkun Olam means, it is dreadfully narcissistic.
You are not the world's savior, get off your high horse. Be just because it is your character, do good because it is the right thing to do. This has nothing to do with Judaism and everything to do with being a human being.
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