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Social Justice

There is a growing debate within Jewish circles about the term “Tikkun Olam” – meaning to fix or change the world. For some Jews, this is our nation’s mission: to stand with the oppressed and bring societal change and redemption to the entire world. Others, however, have criticized this approach, saying that Tikkun Olam as the center of Judaism is a distortion of a religious movement into a political one. For all of us, considering this question is an invitation to think more seriously about our obligation to this world.

Social Justice: Our Central Questions

1. Jewish Values and Social Justice: Is there a theological imperative in Judaism to be involved in social justice? 

2. Social Justice and the Orthodox community: Why does the Orthodox community seem to be so much less actively engaged in social justice work than other parts of the Jewish community?

3. Particularity and Universalism: Does belief in Jewish chosenness allow for broad social activism?

EPISODES

In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, we sit down with Rabbi Jeremy Wieder – rosh yeshiva, PhD, Bible professor, and passionate Orthodox moral voice – to discuss what the Torah has to say about social justice.
In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, we sit down with Dr. Rivka Press Schwartz – Shalom Hartman Institute Fellow, SAR Associate Principal, and Princeton PhD – to think about ways in which social justice can be incorporated into Orthodox education systems.
In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, we sit down with Eli Rubin – writer and researcher at chabad.org – to think about the stereotypes associated with social justice and vision, and how those seeming boundaries have been transcended.

ARTICLES

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RECOMMEDED READING

TO HEAL A FRACTURED WORLD

RABBI JONATHAN SACKS

An instant classic, Rabbi Sacks’s To Heal a Fractured World is an erudite, personal, and deeply spiritual argument for religion to work towards a better world. This book is a journey through the Torah, Jewish law, Jewish thought, and general philosophy, all on the road to deeper responsibility towards each other. Both eminently contemporary and timeless, this work is loved by students and teachers of all ages and walks of life for a reason, and is a must-read of the contemporary Jewish canon for any interested in living a richer, more constructive life.

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