More on Tikkun Olam



Another example of תיקון עולם had to do with difficult periods in our history when Jews were taken captive and held for ransom. Similarly , this applied to situations when the Gentiles would steal holy objects such as Torahs, Tefillin and Mezuzot.

The Rabbis made their decree of Tikkun Olam to try and calm down this painful dilemma. On the one hand, they obviously wanted to redeem Jewish captives as well as the holy objects. But, on the other hand, if they paid too high a price and gave in to the  demands of the enemy, it would only encourage them to continue in their crimes.

Therefore, as painful as it was, they set limits as to the maximum they would pay. They did not want to make it worse for future problems of this nature.

The great Maharam MeRottenberg insisted that he die in prison rather than have the Jewish community pay the huge sums asked for his redemption. This was a realistic תיקון עולם in dealing with our long and tortured exile.