Tikkun olam

The informant told of story passed down from her great grandpa. The great grandpa lived in Iran, but his name was Israel. He was a doctor and his family was very poor, and so was the whole village. His family was ostracized for being Jewish in a very anti-Semitic part of Iran, that was mostly Muslim. However, he was the only smart enough guy there to become a doctor. Even though he faced tons of judgement from his neighbors, he was still always there to help the sick, despite how rude they might have been towards him, and despite how they might have always treated him. Israel would still help if they couldn’t pay him anything too, even though he and his family was poor and needed money too. But he believed in helping others because of Tikkun olam, a fundamental Jewish belief… the informant paused at this part of the story to define it as, “a means to repair the world.” This story was told to informant who is no 19 when she was only ten. At such a young age, she understood the moral of it immediately but thinks the story is more impactful now because there seems to be even more hatred than there was in the past, and perhaps “I am just more attuned to hatred now and am much more familiar with it; so confronting malevolence with such kindness is really amazing and inspires me today.” The informant is proud of her family and proud of her Jewish heritage and thought it was beautiful to help others who had acted abhorrently towards Israel and to be the bigger person proves a sense of benevolence that is the real cure to metaphorical diseases of apathy and hatred. Being Jewish, I related to this piece a lot and found it to be truly inspiring with the current state of events going on between Israel and Palestine. I hope that the informant’s grandfather can shed some light on how human beings ought to be treated and something of peace comes one day amongst all religions at war.