What Is a Tikkunish article?

        Here is what we mean by a Tikkunish article:

        *It approaches issues with intellectual sophistication yet is understandable to anyone who has graduated college and makes a contribution to those who are interested in tikkun olam–the healing and transformation of our world toward a more generous, loving, environmentally sensitive socially and economically just, or spiritually alive and compassionate world.

AND/OR

*It in some way brings a compassionate frame to a complex issue, reflecting empathy, or psychological complexity, or a spiritual dimension, which raises new ways of thinking about issues that are currently being discussed or ought to be discussed.

AND/OR

  • It helps us understand some aspect of reality in a way that makes less able to fit traditional leftie dichotomies, e.g. helping to see that Israel/Palestine can best be understood through a lens of two peoples who have been victims of PTSD through their existence rather than just faulting one side or sounding as if one side is entirely evil and the other side entirely good.

AND/OR

It gives us a new perspective on some reality that our readers are unlikely to have heard before and uses that perspective to give us some guidelines for activists or creative social theorists

AND/OR

  • It is funny in a way that doesn’t require one to be in some “in” crowd to get and appreciate the joke AND DOES NOT depend on putting down some real world person like Trump or other detestable leaders or culture figures

AND/OR

*It is spiritually or psychologically innovative, opening our eyes to elements of existence about which our readers might want to learn (e.g. important new developments in physics or astronomy or biology, without falling into an implicit scientism in which anything not subject to empirical verification, falsification, or measurement is deemed irrational or meaningless)

AND/Or

*It beautifully and imaginatively re-presents to us some aspect of daily life or some unusual experiences in a way that opens our eyes to the beauty of the universe or of some aspect of human experience, either through new analyses, or poetry, or fiction or by reviewing books that help strengthen the author’s analysis.

AND/OR

* It reinterprets an established religion or religious text in a way that helps people outside of that tradition or text-world to see what is beautiful  in it or in a compassionate way points out what needs to be transcended. Or it provides  a creative new reading of some aspect of that religion that helps people inside that tradition see how it connects to tikkun olam (the healing and transformation of our world)

AND/OR

*It reinterprets some aspect of mass culture, politics or intellectual life that already concerns some of our readers (rather than dealing with obscure people or ideas that have little crossover into our lives or thought patterns).

AND/OR

*It gives us new methods of prayer or meditation or new insights into why these matter, or otherwise deepens our spiritual understanding of the world

AND/OR

  • It gives us a picture of a desirable world rather than simply a critique of what is. If you could imagine the article in question appearing in The Nation or Mother Jones or Yes! Magazine it is not likely to be Tikkunish, even though it might say some smart things. \

AND/OR

*It is prophetic, utopian in a smart way, or provokes new thinking.

AND

*It does not make claims about specific human beings that the author can’t stand behind in a court of law, because many mean-spirited people would love to sue Tikkun and put us out of business. So empirical claims must be verifiable, and even more, not so hurtful toward another human being that s/he might want to get even.

AND

      *It is not overtly sexist, racist, homphobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, or any other such sin, and does not make general statements that seem to imply that all people of a certain race, religion, ethnic group or nation are evil or share fundamentally repulsive ideas. This includes not making these kinds of broad generalizations about all fundamentalists, all atheists, all Zionists, all feminists, all trans people, all Evangelical Christians, all whites, all men, all heterosexuals, all GLBTQ people, the Torah, the Koran, the New Testament, etc. etc. etc. unless backed up by carefully argued and meticulously documented evidence for the claim being made.
 
Rabbi Michael Lerner is editor of Tikkun, co-chair with Indian environmental activist Vandana Shiva of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, and rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue-Without-Walls in San Francisco and Berkeley, California. He is the author of eleven books, including two national bestsellers—The Left Hand of God and Jewish Renewal: A Path to Healing and Transformation. His most recent book, Embracing Israel/Palestine, is available on Kindle from Amazon.com and in hard copy from tikkun.org/eip. He welcomes your responses and invites you to join with him by joining the Network of Spiritual Progressives (membership comes with a subscription to Tikkun magazine). You can contact him at rabbilerner.tikkun@gmail.com.
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