Tikkun Olam

It’s been tough to write recently. I don’t want to write about the situation in Israel. It’s all too frightening. We have a government led by a man who has great difficulty keeping his foot out of his mouth and his hands out of other people’s pockets. At present, the press has stopped obssessing over our President’s legal difficulties (the allegations of improper sexual conduct) and all we are concerned about is the possibility that the man who says he wants to annihilate Israel will succeed in building a nuclear powerhouse that will destroy not only Israel, but all of Western civilization. All of this, while the Western countries debate whether sanctions are in order. What, may I ask, is the good of all of the Holocaust memorials and education if the Western world is sitting around and waiting to see if a madman who has vowed death and destruction really will do it??? And don’t these ostriches know that once he is done with us they are next???

When I was a little girl, my father told me that he too lived through difficult times. He told me that people talked about whether the world would survive. He told me that he believes that the world is stronger than the evil that wants to destroy it. He was not a traditionally religious man, but he had more faith in the goodness of the world and the kindness of people than anyone I have ever met. He was the consummate optimist while at the same time understanding and being concerned with reality. His gift of optimism is what keeps me going, keeps me hopeful.

We are taught that our lives are seen in a balance with the good deeds we do on one side and the places where we fail on the other and that any one act can tip the balance. I think of our place in the world in the same way. I believe that adding goodness in any place at any time can shift the balance. I believe that showing kindness to our family, friends, and strangers, being helpful, considerate, and understanding can bring enough goodness to the world to outweigh the destructiveness and hate that threaten us. We need to appreciate the beauty in each person and recognize in each other the holy spark of the Divine that resides in all of us.

This is one way in which we can bring about “tikkun olam” -healing the world.

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