Bob Ryan

Tikkun Olam is not a law

Tikkun olam, the idea of being commanded to repair the world through whatever happens to be fashionable from one moment to the next is not a law. There is nothing close to it anywhere in the Torah or even Tanakh as a whole.

Not only is tikkun olam not a law, it does not even have the same translation as claimed. Tikkun has several meanings along the lines of repair, but olam has just one meaning in biblical Hebrew regarding time rather than world.

From Chabad:

Olam in Biblical Hebrew connotes all of time.”

Rabbi Hillel’s summation of Torah from Babylon Talmud: Tractate Shabbath

Folio 31a:

“What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbour:  that is the whole Torah, while the rest is the commentary thereof; go and learn it.”

By adding in olam to the end, it would read what is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor for all time. Tikkum olam, if it were to be used from a biblically Jewish perspective, would be far more localized to the individual than the world.

If people are focused on the ills of the world, whatever they may perceive them to be, they cannot see their own neighbors’ ills. The commandment to love your fellow man is lost when the world takes precedence over man.

Tikkun olam, when used by most today, is done as an attempt to replace the whole of Judaism, which includes every law, into a single law that can mean anything people wish it to mean. The Rambam made it quite clear that the replacement of even a single law was the denial of the whole of Torah.

The Rambam, also known as Maimonides, one of the greatest Jewish philosophers the world has ever known, wrote Hilchot Teshuva to be the essence of Jewish law and understanding. His words continue to be read and studied throughout the world.

Chapter 3 of Teshuva includes people who deny the Torah:

  1. There are three individuals who are considered as one “who denies the Torah”:
  2. a) one who says Torah, even one verse or one word, is not from God. If he says: “Moses made these statements independently,” he is denying the Torah.
  3. b) one who denies the Torah’s interpretation, the oral law, or disputes [the authority of] its spokesmen as did Tzadok and Beitus.
  4. c) one who says that though the Torah came from God, the Creator has replaced one mitzvah with another one and nullified the original Torah, like the Arabs [and the Christians].

Each of these three individuals is considered as one who denies the Torah.

Clearly, removing the entirety of Torah to replace it with tikkun olam is to deny Torah.

About the Author
Bob Ryan is a novelist of the future via science-fiction, dystopian or a combination of the two, and blogger of the past with some present added in on occasion. He believes the key to understanding the future is to understand the past, since human nature is an unchanging force. As any writer can attest, he spends a great deal of time researching numerous subjects. He is someone who seeks to strip away emotion in search of reason, since emotion clouds judgement. Bob is an American with an MBA in Business Administration. He is a gentile who supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. He is a Christian Zionist who knows God is calling His chosen home as foretold in prophecy.
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