“How do you say Tikun Olam in Hebrew?” is the circulating joke about this meaningful concept in Judaism. But it’s no joke at all. How Tikun Olam manifests in the three monotheistic religions was the subject of a panel lead by ICCI Director Ron Kronish and representatives of the three religions on the 1st of May. Evidence brought out at the panel showed that the act of grace and kindness towards the needy is an “international interreligious commandment” as the representative of Islam concluded. However, in a complex reality where interreligious interaction and tolerance is scarce, the values of our scriptures sometimes remain unfulfilled.
The panel on Tikkun Olam was part of the Rabbi’s Kallah (seminar) which preceded the international convention of the World Union for Progressive Judaism in Jerusalem. More than 30 Reform/Progressive Liberal Rabbis and rabbinical students from all over the world participated in this workshop, which dealt with the main theme of the conference.
Text-based presentations were made by Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman ,rabbi of Congregation Kol Haneshama, and co-chairperson of ICCI, Canon Hosam Naoum, Dean of St. George’s Cathedral (Anglican) in Jerusalem, and Kadi Iyad Zahalka, the judge of the Muslim shariya court of the state of Israel in Jerusalem. All three speakers shared with the rabbis in the audiences some of the most important texts from their tradition that point the way for followers of each tradition to do their part to heal the world– to feed the hungry, to take care of the orphan and to take care of the sick. While each tradition has its special texts and emphases, it was clear that when it comes to repairing the world, we have much in common and we need to work together , not only for the betterment of our own community or our own people, but for all human beings, who are created in the Divine Image.