The halachic concept of Tikkun Olam is first mentioned in the Mishnah
(Gittin, Chs. 4-5) in relation to Takkanos (Rabbinic ordinances)
that were made for the good of society. The phrase "le-takken olam"
also occurs in the Alenu prayer, where it refers to the improvements
that will be made in the world in the Messianic age. The term Tikkun
Olam is used nowadays in reference to the idea that the Jews have
responsibilities to society at large. Various aspects of this idea
are discussed in depth in the book Tikkun Olam, published in 1997 by
Jason Aronson (Northdale, NJ), which contains papers presented at a
symposium held on March 13-14, 1994 in New York.
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