03 September 2010

God's Work in History or Tikkun Olam?

Sep 3, 2010

Beyond Repair
Is tikkun olam, the Jewish concept of “healing the world,” as dangerous as David Horowitz says it is?

By Marissa Brostoff | Tablet Magazine [Online] Sep 3, 2010 at


At long last the concept of Tikkun Olam is being interrogated for its emphasis on our ability to achieve justice in the world. Only God can do this. It is time for us to begin to reframe the rabbinical paradigm which Neusner surfaced in his study of Jewish historiography. Biblical history is not allegorical; and the escape to Talmud was a response forced upon Jews by their loss of sovereignty and their sense that God had removed Himself from history. We need to reconsider the concept of providential history and recover our sense of God’s ongoing work in world history. Dispensational Premillennialists, normally understood as Evangelical Fundamentalists, represent a stream of Jewish thought did recognize the import of the end of Jewish Temple service and sovereignty in 586 B.C. and understands the shift to the Age of the Nations that some rabbis discerned in the Tanakh. Messianic Judaism appeals to Jews who have confidence that God is acting providentially in history, and that His Tikkun Olam is yet future, in the Messianic, Millennial Kingdom when Israel will be fully restored to its service to the Nations from Zion. At that time all of the nations created God will worship Him from Zion, just as God promised. The injustice and imperfection of our age is a function of the international state system that is governed by human passions and interests in disobedience to God. However, it is impossible for them to obey Him through their own efforts. Only by working in the will of God, revealed in His Word, the Bible, can rebellious mankind repent and be reconciled with God. In this Age we have an opportunity to relate to God in our Savior, the Jewish messiah, who atoned for the sins of the Jewish people and all nations, and at the end of this Age, God will come to judge the nations and establish His Kingdom. Before that happens, the doors of the Kingdom will finally be closed to those who don’t recognize Yeshua as God and King. This understanding of human history is at the heart of Christian Zionism and Messianic Judaism.

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