Buber's concept of I-Thou plays a big part in my philosophy of Judaism. According to Shimon the righteous, the world stands on three things: on Torah, on Service of God, and on Acts of Kindness (Ethics of the Fathers, 1:2). These three categories of spiritual activity in which we--as humans--are required to engage are essentially three different categories of I-Thou relationships: through our contemplative study of Torah we enhance an inner I-Thou relationship with ourselves; our worship helps us develop an I-Thou intimacy with the Divine; and what is kindness if not an I-Thou relationship with our fellow? In each of these categories our relationships have the potential to become I-It, but only through enhancing them into I-Thou relationships can God’s presence, the Eternal Thou, fill the world. Tikun Olam is not just about repairing the world in the physical and ethical sense, it is about enhancing our three I-Thou relationships.
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