Social Action is a defining element of Liberal Judaism’s ideology. There are three central beliefs that contribute towards Liberal Jewish thinking:
Social Action lies within the broader category of ‘Tikkun Olam’ (repair of the world), and this concept helps guide Liberal Judaism on ethical issues that affect us as individuals and also on a universal scale. Tikkun Olam is ultimately based upon one of Judaism’s core messages: caring for the world and its inhabitants.
Tikkun Olam affects us in everything we do, how we interact with the world and how we interact with each other. It can affect what car we drive or whether we drive at all, what food we eat and where we eat it, from what clothes we wear to the products we put in our hair. From the small decisions such as what light bulbs to use, to the global issues surrounding human rights, Liberal Judaism’s response is guided by our commitment to Tikkun Olam.
Social Action is concerned with the actualisation of our ethical thoughts, what we choose to act upon and campaign about. Social action is the fruition of our intellectual beliefs. Liberal Judaism teaches that we should not only learn but also do; we should go out and actively seek to make the world a better place.
Social Action is a vast area, and there are many causes that deserve our attention. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the task ahead, we are guided by the idea that: “You are not required to complete the work, yet you are not allowed to desist from it” (Pirkei Avot, 2:21).
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