‘Tikun Olam: Repair of the World’ by Dr. Cheryl Joy Bratman from Agape’s Inner Visions publication of daily dnspiration on Sunday, September 9, 2018.
Let the good in me connect with the good in others, until all the world is transformed through the power of love.
Rabbi Nachman of Breslow
Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
This year, September is the month of the Jewish High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It is a time of deep reflection and prayer as the Jewish New Year begins and profound atonement and forgiveness are practiced and embodied. In Hebrew, tikkun olam means to repair, heal and restore the world. This concept speaks to the shared responsibility we have with God to continue to make the world a better place.
The mystical teachings of the Lurianic Kabbalah envisioned that God contracted part of God’s self into vessels of light—partly limiting itself—to create the world. These vessels shattered and their shards became sparks of light trapped within the material of creation. Prayer, especially contemplation of various aspects of divinity, releases these sparks of God’s self and allows them to reunite with God’s essence, bringing them closer to a fixed world.
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson said: “If you see what needs to be repaired and how to repair it, then you have found a piece of the world that God has left for you to complete. But if you only see what is wrong and what is ugly in the world, then it is you yourself that needs repair.” We are currently living in a world that seems incredibly chaotic and discordant, and it is our job to come together to make the world whole again.
So at this time of the Jewish High Holy Days, no matter what your religious heritage may be, let’s all come together to meditate, pray, follow God’s commandments, and perform good deeds, realizing that we are all participating in tikkun olam– helping to perfect the world.
I consciously choose to be responsible for my part in tikkun olam – helping to repair and heal our world.
Dr. Cheryl Joy Bratman