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Message from the Vice President & the Tikun Olam Committee Chair 

09/02/2023 02:11:46 PM

Feb9

Fanny Levy, Vice President, Tikun Olam Committee Chair

     

 

This week, I’d like to share my experience with a tradition that has been a part of Judaism since the 3rd century and has only evolved and strengthened with time.

Tikun Olam or “the repair of the world,” has its roots in Rabbinic law, the Kabbalah and the Aleinu prayer. The Tikun Olam of Aleinu and the Kabbalah highlight the importance of daily acts of spiritual devotion in the pursuit of repair both internal and external. People restore the world around them through daily acts of study, prayer, and the performance of commandments. 

The focus on the ability of people to perform broader spiritual repair explains the popularity of Tikun Olam following the Shoah when it became a mainstream term for Jewish social justice work and community contribution in North America. It was necessary then to connect Jewish people with their larger communities, helping bridge gaps and misunderstandings for peaceful coexistence and tolerance. And let’s not kid ourselves; the gap continues today, and it is upon all of us to work alongside others to make this a more understanding, inclusive and diverse world.

Over the years, my connection to Judaism has shifted. In my childhood, I felt Jewish by attending a Jewish School, speaking Hebrew (barely), going to synagogue for Shabbat on Friday evenings, and celebrating the Jewish Holidays at my grandparents’ home. In my teens, being Jewish meant belonging to a Jewish youth movement, learning about the Shoah, and advocating for Israel’s right to exist. As I became an adult, I searched for freedom to proudly express my identity as a Jew.

Today, as a parent, I feel the duty to teach my children about our collective responsibility as the chosen nation by engaging in Tikun Olam activities regularly. It hasn’t always been easy. We are competing with other responsibilities and much more appealing activities. It requires a lot of commitment, long family conversations and, of course, Starbucks coffees, but at the end of the day, it has brought us together and enriched us tremendously.

These meaningful Tikun Olam activities allowed my family to connect to “our Jewishness” while raising caring, responsible Jewish women who will hopefully continue our traditions for many years.

Shaarey Zedek has had a long tradition of and commitment to Tikun Olam. It offers many individual and collective opportunities to practice it through Tzedakah, Gemilut Hasadim and the promotion of Social Justice. From donating non-perishable food items to Jewish Child and Family Services, winter clothing for children, teens, and adults to KOATS for kids; or clothing, and toiletries to Willow Place, to Volunteering at Manitoba Harvest, or serving a meal at West Broadway, there are different ways to get involved and make a difference while strengthening relationships with our friends, colleagues, and family members.

So, here is my request (there is always an ask, right?). Consider volunteering your time in Shaarey Zedek’s Tikun Olam activities by joining our committee, bringing new ideas, donating and/or volunteering your time. Always remember to bring a friend with you. You don’t have to be a member to dive into these opportunities! Check one out and get involved.

We can make a more significant impact together!

If you are interested in getting involved in Tikun Olam initiatives at Shaarey Zedek, please reach out to me at falevy2014@gmail.com or contact Dr. Rena Secter Elbaze, Engagement and Education Director, at 204-975-3489 or rena@szwinnipeg.ca.

 

Fanny Levy
Vice President, Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Chair, Tikun Olam Committee

 

Congregation Shaarey Zedek
1077 Grant Avenue, c/o Temple Shalom
Winnipeg MB R3M 1Y6
204-452-3711
hello@szwinnipeg.ca 
www.szwinnipeg.ca
www.szfuture.ca

Sat, 13 April 2024 5 Nisan 5784