CUFI’s Coffee Break
Tikkun olam lies at the very heart of Israel. Though Israel is a tiny country, it does a tremendous amount of good in the world. From being one of the first responders whenever a natural disaster strikes across the globe to sharing life-saving medical technologies with communities all over the world, the Jewish principle of tikkun olam has developed in Israel into a practice of doing good through manifold technological and medical innovations that are repairing the world.
The Hebrew phrase tikkun olam developed over time but has its roots in the Bible (where it is used to mean “to make straight, establish, arrange or repair”). It literally means “repairing the world” and is often used to describe social justice and improving society.
In practice, modern Israel’s medical and technological breakthroughs are an expression of this important principle–a blessing to all humanity, fulfilling ancient prophecies. One way Israel, described in the Bible as a light unto the nations (Isaiah 42:6), demonstrated tikkun olam was through Operation Good Neighbor. Begun in 2016 as an endeavor to aid Syrians affected by the civil war raging in their country, Operation Good Neighbor powerfully showcased Israel’s heart of compassion and acts of good in the world, even toward an enemy state.
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You can also read CUFI’s Primer, “Tikkun Olam.”