ISRAEL - Tikkun Olam Most Ancient and Modern Invention

Arno Froese

Nearly every week I read about a dazzling new Israeli high-tech or medical invention. What is special about many of these innovations is that they have a distinctly humanitarian purpose.

Designed to repair and heal people’s lives and improve the world, they embody the essence of tikkun olam (repairing the world).

Have you ever wondered why Israel has made tikkun olam such a focus?

Tikkun olam’s ancient roots are found in the book of Genesis. When God finished creating the world, he charged human beings with becoming its guardians, as co-partners in the physical and spiritual upkeep of the world.

Created in God’s image, the idea is that we have the potential to emulate divine qualities on earth through acts that bring light, holiness and healing into the world.

Some of those key values are: Saving a life, seeking justice, loving one’s neighbor, showing compassion for the poor and the stranger, creating inclusive societies, protecting the environment, and pursuing peace.

Embracing and practicing these values creates a framework for living a holy life and becoming a “light unto the nations.”

Tikkun olam includes both tzedek and tzedakah, which are linguistically related. Tzedek refers to justice in the larger society, and tzedakah refers to performing personal acts of kindness for others.

Theodore Herzl’s late 19th century Zionist dream sought not only to create a refuge and political homeland for the Jewish people; he also dreamed of building a utopian society where justice and compassion served as guideposts.

David Ben-Gurion, deeply knowledgeable about the Bible, encouraged building a robust civil society that applied biblical values to contemporary social issues.

Exceptional projects in Israel based on humanistic values strive to improve the lives of Jews and Arabs, foster democracy and inclusivity, and seek peaceful coexistence. There are organizations that work to strengthen democratic principles and the rights of minorities, support women’s health, mental health and freedom of religious expression.

Israelis use innovative solar technology to bring energy, light and water to improve the lives of millions across the African continent.

Israelis offer advanced agricultural techniques to foster self-sufficiency in Asian countries. Israel’s scientific leadership in water desalination, sewage treatment and wastewater recycling is being taught to others globally, and joint projects between Jordanians, Palestinians and Israelis work to conserve precious shared water resources.

What would it take to open the eyes of today’s idealistic and energetic younger generation, who admire humanistic values and are passionate about improving the world, to connect with the many small miracles already happening? There is no shortage of humanitarian work to be done within and beyond Israel’s borders.

Engagement in tikkun olam initiatives can lead to a satisfying sense of accomplishment, meaning and purpose. The partnership of the next generation’s humanistic values with the Israeli spirit of optimism, creativity and caring, a can-do attitude and chutzpah, could lead to amazing outcomes.

To help create a better world, remember that each of us, through our actions and deeds, can tip the world’s scale towards growth, goodness, blessing and peace. How do you think any of the above miracles began, anyway?

-www.israel21c.org, 8 January 2019

Arno's commentary

That Israel, as a modern, functioning, democratic society is a super success, cannot be denied even by its enemies. Their dream, Tikkun Olam, is apparently incorporated in the genes. While virtually most countries in the world, if not all, are striving toward solving their own problems, Israel sees globally beyond its borders, beyond the nation; Israel sees the world.

Here the words of the prophet Isaiah are applicable: “Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein” (Isaiah 42:5).

When will that transpire? Only when the Prince of light confronts the prince of darkness and destroys his work. Then, and only then, will the world see the true light.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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