Tikkun Olam

The Hebrew expression “Tikkun Olam” literally means “to repair the world.” Ideologically, it suggests a wholehearted acceptance of the world’s brokenness along with our ability to repair it, or at least our ability to try. It does not point to a particular time or transgression. it does not cast blame. It does not indulge the notion of absolute good or evil. It simply accepts that we live in a broken world and can, or should (if and when we are ready), reach toward its repair. I consider this a reasonable position. Like the sentiment behind the lovely Buddhist saying “Live joyfully in a world of sorrows,” Tikkun Olam recognizes the folly of life but never shirks from reaching for the good.

—Harriet Fasenfest, A Householder’s Guide to the Universe