"Charity begins at home" but should not end there

By Shlomi Ravid

The Jewish Peoplehood Hub, November 2010

The author describes the tension between particularism (looking after one's own) and universalism (combating injustice throughout the world) in Tikkun Olam -- repairing the world. Grappling with the tension in the context of the collective Jewish value system does not solve the dilemma. It enables us to develop the framework for addressing the challenge. Two core Jewish values are in struggle here: one considers the survival of the people as a value in its own right. The other sees the Jewish mission of repairing the world as a central imperative. That tension cannot be eliminated, but ethical considerations of need, urgency and fairness can be used in order to reach equilibrium between the conflicting agendas. The challenge is not to rule that needy Jews are not really the responsibility of Jews, or that Tikkun Olam is but a trend for "spoiled wealthy Jews". The challenge is to address both demands and do it in accordance with a Jewish sense of justice.

Topic: Morality, Tzedakah (Charity), Peoplehood, Social Justice, Communal Responsibility, Sectarianism, Charitable Giving, Ethics, Values, Global Responsibility

Name of Publication: The Peoplehood Papers

Editor: Ravid, Shlomi

Volume/Issue: Volume 6

Page Number(s): 30-31

Funder: Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) , Nadav Fund , UJA-Federation of New York

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Genre: Essay

Coverage: World

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Ravid, Shlomi. "Charity begins at home" but should not end there. The Peoplehood Papers. The Jewish Peoplehood Hub. November 2010: 30-31. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=11807


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