Frequently Asked Questions

[accordion clicktoclose=”true”][accordion-item title=”What does “tikkun” mean?”]Tikkun means “to repair.” Tikkun’s overall aim is to help heal and repair whatever is broken in the world, as in the phrase that is common in Jewish texts, “tikkun olam” or “repairing the world.” We believe that by starting dialogues with people from all walks of life, listening to voices that are often oppressed by our society’s systemic xenophobia, and developing strategies for healing the world, we can work to create a safer, more inclusive world for people to live in happily.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”What is the connection between Tikkun magazine and the other organizations/entities on the website?”]The Network of Spiritual Progressives, Tikkun Institute, and Beyt Tikkun are all a part of Tikkun as a whole but each arm does a different kind of work:

The Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) is the social action branch of Tikkun that meets to discuss ways to create social change.

The Tikkun Institute [link to page on website] is a fellowship program in which fellows will participate in online discussions, shape conferences, create teach-ins or other public events aimed at refreshing public discourse, as well as write, edit, and solicit Tikkun content.

Beyt Tikkun is a synagogue without walls. It is a Jewish Renewal spiritual community based on a vision of a Judaism of Love. Beyt Tikkun services integrate deep spiritual wisdom and experiences with the prophetic Jewish tradition that calls for love and justice. Services are occasionally held at Rabbi Lerner’s home, and spaces are rented out for larger services and events.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”I don’t like to get involved with politics. Is Tikkun for me?”]Tikkun is for readers that want to read about and be a part of strategies that will one day become part of a better world where everyone feels safe, loved, and cared for. In today’s troubling political climate, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the heartbreaking and stressful stories we hear from the White House and our individual communities. Tikkun focuses on political issues that can inform people about the world around them, but it also is careful to provide strategies for making the world a better place to encourage the idea that there is hope for a kinder future. The Network of Spiritual Progressives is the outreach and advocacy arm of Tikkun. There are chapters in various cities throughout the country and world where people come together to be a part of a beloved community and engage in projects and actions to be the change they wish to see in the world. You can read and join Tikkun whether you want to get involved in politics or not.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Since the word “tikkun” comes from the Jewish tradition, is Tikkun a Jewish organization and magazine? What about people who are not Jewish, spiritual, or religious?”]The word “tikkun” comes from the Jewish tradition, but as much as repairing the world is important to Judaism, welcoming the stranger is just as important. Tikkun prides itself as an interfaith, secular-humanist welcoming organization and publication that includes voices from a diverse array of spiritual, religious, and secular backgrounds.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”What does Tikkun mean by spiritual?”]We use the term ‘spiritual’ to refer to all aspects of reality that cannot be subject to empirical verification or measurement. That includes ethics, aesthetics, many aspects of consciousness itself, plus religions. So if you take ethics seriously you are spiritual in that regard.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Who writes the articles in Tikkun? Can I write something for Tikkun?”]Tikkun has published pieces over the years from prominent writers and thinkers such as: Cornel West, Vandana Shiva, Noam Chomsky, Joyce Carol Oates, Rebecca Solnit, Michael Eric Dyson, Rachel Adler, Joy Ladin, and David Korten, among others. And, Tikkun strives to lift up voices with ideas that can inspire change. If you or someone you know would like to submit a piece to Tikkun, please visit our Submittables page.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Is Tikkun a print magazine, an online magazine, or both?”]Tikkun started out as a print magazine in 1986 and eventually became both a print and online publication. Recently, Tikkun has decided to transition into a completely online publication as a way to engage with more current events and reach more people. Tikkun will now publish a digital version of a magazine to ensure that the important voices and visions of Tikkun endure. The Tikkun website will also continue to publish pieces that are freely available directly on the website itself.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Why does Tikkun put so much emphasis on theory? Isn’t activism for social change really enough?”]We need both activism and theory. Theory and analysis help us understand how we arrived at a point in history where the majority of the people actually support progressives policies (such as universal healthcare, free public education, reproductive rights, equality and justice) and yet we vote in candidates who support programs that are in direct conflict with these progressive policies. We need to reflect upon and learn from our missteps and adjust our activism based on the knowledge and information we gain through that process.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Why bother trying to get people to agree to a shared worldview?”]We need a positive shared worldview to counter the worldview put forth by the Right. People know, from their lived experience, that the system isn’t working for them but the absence of a shared vision of the world we want makes it extremely difficult for people to see where we are heading. Resistance and articulating what we are against are simply not sufficient to inspire people to vote and engage.

Democrats in office largely promote policies that continue to benefit the ruling elite while providing some minor safety net and social rights for marginalized groups. These are important to be sure, but inadequate to address the genuine discontent, both economic and spiritual in people’s lives. The liberal and progressive world has no coherent worldview to which it educates the larger public and which it uses as its criterion for what policies and programs to support or oppose. To read more, please read Rabbi Lerner’s article: Why the Right Keeps Winning and the Left Keeps Losing.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Why is it important to bring spiritual consciousness into social change movements?”]People want their lives to have meaning and purpose. They hunger for personal relationships, families, and communities in which they are genuinely cared for and recognized, simply for who they are. To address these yearnings, we need to build a far-reaching social change movement that, in addition to advocating for economic entitlements and political rights, also addresses and speaks to people’s needs to have some higher meaning and purpose in their lives than simply accumulating money, power, and fame.

A spiritual transformation of our society requires more than tweaking a broken system to alleviate some of the pain of the system. It requires a complete restructuring of society so that values of love, kindness, care, generosity, justice, peace, and sustainability infuse every aspect of our society – economic, political, social, educational, legal, healthcare, etc. This kind of transformation calls us to see the humanity of one another above all else.[/accordion-item][/accordion]