Jewish Facts of Life
. . . we are halfway between Martin Luther King’s Birthday (January 15) and Presidents’ Day (February 18). Both holidays are commemorations of the principles we hold most dear, the principles that are the heart of Jewish heritage and our vision of our role in the world. Both holidays are dedicated to the values we celebrate when we say: Tikkun Olam.
“On President’s Day, we remember two of our greatest presidents: George Washington, who led us to freedom from tyranny and began our journey towards becoming a nation in which all people are considered to be equal, and Abraham Lincoln, who ended slavery and fought to preserve the ideal of a nation committed to freedom for all.
“And it was Martin Luther King, Jr. who taught us that the time for freedom and for the dignity of every individual is now. And he taught us that the time must soon come in which all people ‘will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’
“It is a universal vision, a vision at the heart of the American promise and at the core of Jewish values, for it is a vision in the hearts of all good people. It is the vision of Tikkun Olam: the vision of repairing the world, the vision of healing the world. It is the vision of liberty and justice for all.”
The concept of Tikkun Olam is a noble one, and it is a sincere commitment for many of our Jewish people. Some see it in spiritual terms as partnering with God, entering into His purposes to heal the world. Others see it in more humanistic terms: good people doing what is right for the good of others. However, few people who speak of Tikkun Olam see the underlying reason for the damage that they wish to repair. Tikkun Olam rarely, if ever, addresses the issue of sin.
As Jews for Jesus, we know that God desires to reconcile all of creation to Himself. We are very much aware of the problem of sin, and that no amount of repair can address this problem. In fact, we do not believe that the world can be repaired, but that it must be reborn. This cannot take place apart from God’s grace and His provision through Jesus. That does not mean that we should not endeavor to pursue justice and make responsible choices concerning our society and our environment as best we can. It simply means that the dignity of the human race cannot find its ultimate restoration apart from the Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus).