December 9, 2016

The Jewish Left Lies About Tikkun Olam

This is not my friend Curt Biren. But I could not resist using this picture by the great photographer Roman Vishniac of A Jewish Elder of the Village, Vysni Apsa, Carpathian Ruthenia, Ukraine c.1935
This is not my friend Curt Biren author of the excellent article about the real meaning of Tikkun Olam. . But I could not resist using this picture by the great photographer Roman Vishniac of A Jewish Elder of the Village, Vysni Apsa, Carpathian Ruthenia, Ukraine c.1935

by Robert J. Avrech

I pay particular attention to the use and abuse of language by the left. The left has always lied and twisted reality to conform to its utopian ideology. But Barack Obama and the leftist media have ushered in a new Orwellian age where their morally depraved rhetoric has gone mainstream. George Orwell understood that those who control language control thought. Thus the American left have staged a quiet coup of public grade schools, most colleges and universities. American children rarely learn. They are now indoctrinated in leftism.

Jewish leftists have long tried to use Jewish texts to support their ideology. It’s a heavy push because Torah Judaism is inherently Conservative. Which is why over 80% of Torah Jews are Conservative Republicans.

Most abused by the Jewish left is the concept of Tikkun Olam. The literal translation is Repairing (or Perfecting) the World. Not surprisingly, leftist/secular Jews claim this concept as part of the social justice movement. But in Torah Judaism there is no such thing as social justice. There is only justice. Social justice is, let’s be clear, code for Marxism.

Every once in a while I run into a well meaning but tragically ignorant Hollywood Jew who proudly identifies himself with the Tikkun Olam movement. When I ask where the concept comes from and what it really means, I’m met with either blank stares or cold contempt. It’s about justice for the poor, or equality, or peace, or vegetarianism, I’m told. The ignorance of my Hollywood colleagues is appalling and ultimately destructive.

My close friend Curt Biren, who studies Talmud with me in Daf Yomi, and who is one of the smartest people I have the honor of knowing, has authored an excellent article about the origins and true meaning of Tikkun Olam.

There’s nothing like studying the Talmud to learn more about Judaism.  I’m not referring to long hours in a Jerusalem yeshiva with one’s head buried in the text, but rather to the study program called Daf Yomi.  Reading a page a day, one can get through the entire Talmud in seven and a half years.  In the current Daf Yomi cycle, followed throughout the world, I along with my Talmudic haburah are now four years into it, with another three and a half years to go.

As anyone who has cracked open one of the many volumes knows, the Talmud offers extensive discussions on just about every conceivable moral issue imaginable.  It’s undoubtedly archaic in context, but it’s no less relevant in concept today than it was thousands of years ago.  The analyses that the ancient rabbis bring to bear in debating the various issues is beyond impressive.  It’s no wonder yeshiva buchers end up being among the very best law school students.  For novices like myself, it’s a challenge just to keep up.

A few months ago, while studying tractate Gittin, the volume dealing with divorce law, we came across the well-known concept of tikkun olam.  According to everything I had learned growing up as a typical reform Jew, tikkun olam means “repair of the world” — sometimes referred to as “social justice” — often entailing government programs to make the world a better place.  However, delving into the Gemara, the Talmudic commentary, I was in for a little surprise.

Read the rest here.