The Pseudo-Jewish Fetish with “Tikkun Olam” By Steven Plaut

“The central mitzvah or commandment for out era is the mitzvah of Tikkun Olam. It is the defining mission of Jews to strive for the repair of the world by making society more just, fair, egalitarian, and sensitive. Judaism demands that we repair the world by striving for social justice. It is the mission of Jews in the Divine Plan for the universe to repair the world by repairing man, by improving and advancing mankind.”

The above paragraph is a fair representation of what has become the defining raison d’etre of Judaism as conveyed by non-Orthodox liberal Jewish organizations and synagogues in America. It is not a direct citation from any, but is an accurate paraphrase of what has become the canon of non-Orthodox Jewish liberalism, in essence the orthodoxy of the non-Orthodox. It is the “modernized” and contemporary “reinterpretation” of “Jewish ethics” as defined and inculcated by much of the Reform and Conservative movements. It is also the entire “theology” of the pseudo-Jewish radical leftist groups operating at the fringes of the Jewish community, including the “Renewal/ALEPH” movement, the “Eco-Judaism” groups, the “Tikkun community” of people and groups that are satellites to the magazine by that same name published by pseudo-Rabbi Michael Lerner, and what remains of the “Reconstructionists.” Lerner discovers “repair of the world” even in LSD consumption.

So just what are we to make of the above “Tikkun Olam” proclamation and manifest?

The most important thing that must be understood about the Tikkun Olam catechism of non-Orthodox Judaism in the United States is that each and every sentence in the above proclamation is false.

First of all, there is no such thing as a mitzvah or commandment of “Tikkun Olam.” Jews are nowhere commanded to “repair the world.” In all the authoritative or traditional compilations of the commandments of Judaism, none list “Tikkun Olam” as one of them. The expression itself does not appear anywhere in the Torah or in the entire Bible. Those assimilationist liberals who insist that the entire “ethics of the Prophets” can be reduced to the pursuit of “Tikkun Olam” will have to explain why none of the Books of the Prophets use the term. “Tikkun Olam” is used sporadically in the Talmud, but as a technical term for resolution of certain judicial problems that arise before rabbinic courts. The only place where the expression appears in Jewish prayer is in the “Aleinu” and there it clearly has nothing at all to do with social justice. In the “Aleinu,” Tikkun Olam is explicitly explained in the prayer text itself as the quest to eliminate pagan superstition and to see God’s rule of the universe implemented. In other words, it is a theological notion, not a social or political or environmental one. In Judaism, the world does not get repaired by redistribution of income and wealth nor by cutting carbon emissions but by humans subordinating themselves to God’s will.

Obama’s Relentless Use of ‘Relentless’ Posted By Rick Richman

During the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing [1] last week on the Iran nuclear deal, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) addressed [2] Secretary of State Kerry about the lack of enforcement of Iran sanctions since the election of Iranian President Rouhani. Sherman said there were “dozens and dozens” of companies sanctioned in the first half of this year, but only one designation since June; he said he hoped we were not “slow-walking things” on account of Rouhani. Two days later, the State Department sanctioned 19 new people or companies, with a press release [3] saying this showed the administration will “relentlessly enforce” existing sanctions.

Relentlessly! The State Department was using the magic Obama codeword — the one that strikes fear in the hearts of foreign foes, domestic criminals, and opponents of the Miami Heat.

Two weeks after the U.S. ambassador (the personal representative of the president under the law) was murdered on 9/11/12, along with three other Americans, in an organized terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, President Obama appeared before the assembled representatives of the world at the UN. He called [4] the attacks “an assault on America” and promised we would be “relentless in tracking down the killers.” This reflected a long-standing Obama principle: back in May 2011, a year-and-a-half before Benghazi, the president said [5] “we will never…stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens.”

As for criminals, this year President Obama nominated Kenneth Polite, Jr. to be U.S. attorney in Louisiana. In a press release, the president said [6] he was confident Mr. Polite “will be relentless in his pursuit of justice.” In 2012, Mr. Obama nominated John S. Leonardo as U.S. attorney for Arizona; the president said [7] he was confident Judge Leonardo “will be relentless in his pursuit of justice.” In 2011, he nominated George L. Beck to be U.S. attorney for Alabama; Mr. Obama said [8] it was because of Mr. Beck’s “diligence and relentless pursuit of justice.” In 2010, Mr. Obama nominated David Fein and Timothy Purdon [9] and later Charles Oberley [10] as U.S. attorneys. Can you guess what the President was confident of in all three cases, as well as seven others [11]?

Judge’s Decision Striking NSA Program Will Not Stand By Andrew C. McCarthy Here at Ordered Liberty in late July, I opined that the national-security right was losing the debate over the National Security Agency’s controversial telephony “metadata” program. On Monday, a federal district judge in Washington ruled that the program violates the Fourth Amendment and must be dismantled. The decision, naturally, prompted standing ovations from our […]


The lamentable state of Afghanistan is the fault of the corrupt, appeasing Karzai government, not British, American or other liberating forces who have done a fine job, under the circumstances

For all the isolationist chatter about the War in Afghanistan, from invoking poor clichés like the warrant for the “world’s policemen” to positing bad conscience comments about dead children, not very many people saw an alternative to a direct invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Need a refreshment as to why?

There had been the worst single attack on the West in living memory; there was a government in Afghanistan which not only licensed and praised this attack, it promised to do everything within its power to obstruct justice.

That government controlled a rogue state, comparable only with Iraq and Iran in terms of its threat to other countries; within this rogue state, aside from the flouting of nearly every international law regarding terrorism, its people were starving, bankrupt and under threat every day by religious barbarians demanding the most literal interpretation of a very old and, in the wrong hands, not very moral book.

Fast forward over twelve years, and British Prime Minister David Cameron declares “mission accomplished”; that the invasion of Afghanistan was a success. Many have already seen fit to criticize this statement. After all, nearly 500 British soldiers are dead, as well as heaven knows how many Afghan civilians, and approximately 10,000 brave members of the Afghan security forces who are determined to reach a level where they can police their own country.

Soviet Influence: Myth vs. Reality- John Dietrich

John Dietrich is an expert on Soviet penetration of the United States government before, during, and after World War Two. He is the author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (see the ad on our sidebar), and has contributed several comments over the past few months to the discussion at Gates of Vienna about American Betrayal. The essay below is his response to the unpleasant ad-hominem attacks mounted against Ms. West by Conrad Black, among others.

Soviet Influence: Myth vs. Reality
by John Dietrich

Diana West’s book American Betrayal has generated a great deal of heat. Her critics, many of whom proudly proclaim they have not read her book, resort to name-calling. Conrad Black has called West and her supporters “pernicious, destructive, fatuous idiots.” Her book is filled with, “yellow journalism conspiracy theories,” “unhinged theories,” and “counterfactual speculations.” She is “McCarthy’s heiress.” Her supporters “hurl the vitriol of the silly and the deranged.”

I suppose that this is different than the vitriol hurled by the serious and stable.

The intensity of the attacks on West reveal that she has struck a nerve. I differ with some of her conclusions, but I would not think of calling her an idiot. I disagree with almost everything Conrad Black claims, and the harshest thing I can say about him is that he is allowing his emotions to distort his findings.

These events bring to mind a quote from Margaret Thatcher: “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

Diana West’s book is significant. Vladimir Bukovsky has stated that it will make history.

A Conversation with Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah)By Elise Cooper

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) is the new maverick of the Republican Party. He is a straight talker who was elected in the 2010 wave of the Republican comeback. Senator Lee has distinguished himself in speaking out on issues such as ObamaCare, using his experience as a Constitutional lawyer to explain this disastrous law. American Thinker had the pleasure of interviewing this up and coming Republican.

American Thinker: Recently Congressman Peter King (R-NY) has formed an anti-Tea Party PAC targeting Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Is this an example of Republicans shooting themselves in the foot?

Senator Mike Lee: No political party can win elections without a base; yet, at the same time Conservatives must understand that we cannot move the country in the right direction until we win elections. I would advise anyone who wants to attack our base that if most of us cannot get on the same page the country will continue to lurch towards the left. Those who attack our base are impairing the ability of their own party to win elections.

AT: Playing the devil’s advocate, those in the Republican Party like Congressman King have accused the Tea Party of being too Conservative and too uncompromising. Do you agree?

ML: I think those Republicans should explain what they mean when they attack people like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and myself. What does that mean? Does that mean we are too Conservative with the principles of the Republican Party? After all, we are a Conservative Party. Do they want this party driven more by the lobbyists and the media’s whims of the day? I fundamentally disagree with them. Compromise is not a substantive outcome but is inevitability in a legislative system that involves more than one person. The question is not whether you are going to compromise, but how and where. That is where principles come into play, something very important to voters.

AT: Paul Ryan defends his budget deal by explaining that Republicans in Congress are only one-third of a whole, that elections have consequences. Do you agree?

ML: I have some significant concerns with it. We are putting off those spending cuts for a decade or so while increasing the cost of government. This is based on a promise that we will cut more in a decade or so from now. Experience has taught us that kind of promise is very unlikely to be honored. Some of my other concerns are related to public land in states like my own. Because of all my concerns I will be voting against the deal.

Their Tragic Land: Two Acclaimed Books About Israel Betray Lack of Moral Confidence in Their Subject and Its Story By Ruth Wisse

“Doing justice to the story of modern Israel requires the moral confidence to distinguish between a civilization dedicated to building and one dedicated to destroying what others build. Is it really necessary to reaffirm that the Jewish state rests on a foundation of moral and political legitimacy stronger than that of any other modern nation, or that Jews maintained their indigenous rights to the land of Israel both when they resided in Zion and whenever and wherever they lived outside it? In modern times, and in modern terms, those rights were affirmed repeatedly, both in international law and through the gigantic efforts of Jews themselves, who purchased great tracts of the land, won back expanses of swamp and desert, built industries and cities, and repopulated the country in an unparalleled process of ingathering and resettlement of refugees.”

The story of the Jews was told so effectively in the Hebrew Bible that it shaped and sustained them as a people from that time to this. But what happens now?

We live in an era in which the Jewish people, having suffered a catastrophic national defeat greater even than the one recorded in the book of Lamentations, went on to write a chapter of its history at least as remarkable as any in its sacred canon. In a single decade, bereft of one third of their number, and without the obvious aid of divine intervention, Jews redefined “miracle” as something that could be enacted through human effort. Over the past six decades, the vitality and civilizing restraint of the Jewish way of life, honed in almost 2,000 years of exile, have been made manifest in the regained conditions of a thriving Jewish polity—one that simultaneously has been under relentless and, lately, spiraling pressure from all sides.

Will authors rise to this occasion as ably as the biblical authors did to theirs? Two recent and well-timed accounts of modern Israel offer a useful framework for examining how the challenge is being met. At over 450 pages apiece, each book required years of research and gestation: ten in the case of Yossi Klein Halevi’s Like Dreamers, five in Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land. So there is no question about the gravity of these authors’ intentions, or the definitiveness of their aims and ambitions. Those ambitions, moreover, have already been rewarded in the form of unfailingly warm, respectful, and serious attention in the American press—and in Shavit’s case by a place on the bestseller lists.

What, then, have they wrought?

‘No Ordinary Men,’ by Elisabeth Sifton and Fritz Stern- A Review by Alexander Kazam

The pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his lawyer brother-in-law worked together to resist the Nazis and help Jews escape Germany.

Though the Nazis never won an outright majority in the parliament of the decaying Weimar Republic, they received nearly 44% of the vote in the critical election of March 1933—a mandate that enabled Adolf Hitler’s anointment as supreme leader. To some, however, the evil character of the Nazi regime was visible from the start. Among them were the young Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his brother-in-law Hans von Dohnanyi, the subjects of Elisabeth Sifton and Fritz Stern’s “No Ordinary Men.” In this concise, engaging account, Ms. Sifton, an eminent book editor, and Mr. Stern, a distinguished historian of Germany, trace Bonhoeffer and Dohnanyi’s evolution from partaking in small acts of opposition to playing leading roles in the anti-Hitler resistance.

Bonhoeffer, a pastor, fought Nazi efforts to meld Protestant churches into a single “Reich Church.” Dohnanyi, a lawyer in the military intelligence service, used his position to document Nazi crimes and save Jews while joining several plots to kill Hitler. Their paths of resistance intertwined when Dohnanyi recruited Bonhoeffer to the anti-Hitler conspiracy.

Born in 1906, Bonhoeffer received a strong moral and intellectual upbringing from his father, Karl, an eminent Berlin psychiatrist, and his devout mother, Paula. The family had a notable independent streak; Paula chose to home-school their eight children in their early years. (“Germans,” she observed, “have their backbones broken twice in life: first in the schools, secondly in the military.”) One morning in 1922, Dietrich was in school when he heard “a strange crackling” from the street. It was the assassination of Germany’s Jewish foreign minister, Walter Rathenau, a crime the Bonhoeffers recognized as an omen. “Only think of the trouble we shall have later with these people,” Bonhoeffer’s brother Klaus wrote.


Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah, the state’s only Democratic member of Congress, announced Tuesday that he won’t seek re-election next year.

“I’ve always assumed there were going to be different chapters to my career,” said Mr. Matheson, who was first elected in 2000. “Fourteen years is a substantial amount of time to serve in the House. I believe it’s time now to look for the next chapter. That’s really what the motivation is.”

Republicans have long coveted the seat but were never able to claim it, even after a recent redistricting that favored GOP candidates. Last year, Republican Mia Love lost to Mr. Matheson by fewer than 800 votes and was planning another challenge in 2014. The Love campaign called Mr. Matheson’s retirement a “nice Christmas present.”

Mr. Matheson, a conservative Democrat who opposed ObamaCare’s original passage, is only 53 years old and likely not done with politics. His father served as governor of the state from 1977 to 1985, and the congressman remains popular. “Matheson has been touted in the past as a candidate for governor and U.S. Senate,” reports the Deseret News. “Both Republican Gov. Gary Herbert and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, are up for re-election in 2016.”

DIANA WEST: WHAT WAS THE “SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP” OF THE 20TH CENTURY? Michael Goodwin of the New York Post, a former colleague on the old Lou Dobbs shows at CNN, has a column out interpreting Obama’s unseemly behavior at Mandela’s funeral. He writes: But the “selfie” episode also symbolizes the greater global calamity of Western decline. With British prime minister David Cameron playing the role of […]