tikkun olam: mantra cloth 2

12 Feb

Tikkun olam. A phrase that before 5:30 a.m. this morning, I had never heard. Tikkun olam. “Repairing the world.” OK–and I’m appropriating it w/out hesitation because I was asking for a mantra for this cloth, and after 5-6 days, “tikkun olam” appeared. DSC00727

Tikkun olam. “Isaac Luria, the renowned sixteenth century Kabbalist, used the phrase “tikkun olam,” usually translated as repairing the world, to encapsulate the true role of humanity in the ongoing evolution and spiritualization of the cosmos.”  There.  That’s as much as I know.  But I love it.  The thought.  The way it looks in Hebrew:


At least the way it looks when I stitch it in Hebrew. Tikkun olam.

I was thinking about seeds when I made this cloth. Seeds and spring. Getting materials together to make a grow-light stand in a few days because I don’t have enough “good” window light and I’m ready to start a LOT of seeds. DSC00690

Two hundred of these I’ve made so far. Little biodegradable starter pots. Tikkun olam.

16 Responses to “tikkun olam: mantra cloth 2”

  1. Mo Crow February 12, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    beautiful repairing of the world in fine stitch and planting seeds, have had that old song by Eric Clapton from 461 Ocean Boulevard in my head all week now… Let It Grow


    • Patricia February 14, 2014 at 5:56 am #

      love that–standing at the crossroads–yep. from one moment to the next.


  2. Judith of N. CA February 13, 2014 at 7:52 am #

    Your cloth is lovely and I’m quite taken with the name you have found for it,,,doesn’t it feel great when there’s that connection that’s so solid. The surprise though was when I enlarged the “seed pots” and then used a magnifying glass on each of them….they became individual, beautiful abstracts…the color play was exquisite..check it out !


    • Patricia February 14, 2014 at 6:05 am #

      just played around with the image in pixlr.com–a free photo editor kinda like photo shop. amazing transformations! thanks for the idea.


      • Judith of N. CA February 14, 2014 at 8:42 am #

        I’ve gone back a few more times myself just to enjoy the flow if it all.


  3. janstevenson February 13, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    Hi Patricia, I first learned about tikkun olam many years ago through Clarissa Pinkola Estes writings, however it’s not in Women Who Run With the Wolves. I believe it must have been one of the audio programs. Her explanation of it is “repair of the soul of the world”. . . .that every day we awaken and set our hands to that task. That has been my silent mantra for all these years. love,


    • Patricia February 14, 2014 at 6:07 am #

      i love this definition–the addition of “soul.” soul of the world. yes. and thank you.


  4. karmadondruplhamo....grace forrest February 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

    i had thought at some point Julie had written about this…but i couldn’t find it. and then
    there was an incredible devotion to Tikkun olam at a museum in San Francisco. Couldn’t find that, either. the
    word Mending often is used for repair. this Cloth is so sensitive. eloquent in it’s
    expression of TikkunOlam.


    • Marti February 15, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

      Patricia, the Tikkun Olam event that grace is speaking of took place in 2008 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. Artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles set up a participatory exhibit to tell of Tikkun Olam. She wrote ,”There is Tikkun work to be done. Tikkun is Hebrew for “heal,” and even “transform.” “Tikkun work” means that you can heal, restore, re-invent, re-create, even transform something in the world that is degraded, broken, hearts that are shattered.”

      I don’t know how to set up a link but if you want to check this out further, you can copy and paste this:


      There is a lightness and a strength to this mantra cloth of yours.


      • Marti February 15, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

        Well looks like your blog set up the link for me !


        • Patricia February 17, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

          well, these comments are posting with a mind of their own. i did go to the SF museum site–what an amazing concept that exhibit was. wish they had pictures of it when audience participation was complete. the idea of shatters being re=knit. it so resonates with me.


    • Patricia February 17, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

      mending. yes. putting the pieces back together–or at least going forward with that intention. it’s a beautiful notion/concept/way-of-perceiving.


    • Patricia February 17, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

      Grace–commented on “mending” below


  5. jstockler February 17, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    Tikkun olam…repair of the world…is probably the central tenet of living Judaism. We are taught it from our earliest years in Hebrew school as taking care of others and then, as we grow up, the definitions ripen and expand into the spiritual concepts you guys have written about above. Isaac Luria and the Kabbalists felt that there was once one Divine but that creation shattered it into pieces. With each act of tikkun olam, we are bringing a piece back into alignment to the whole.

    With the relatively recent (when you’re talking 2000 plus years of religion) focus on the physical environment, many people focus on improving their relationship with the earth. Your cloth illustrates my understanding of tikkun olam (pronounced, btw, “tee-koon oh-lum” with the emphasis on the second syllables) so beautifully.


    • Patricia February 17, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

      Thank you so much for this thoughtful comment. I’m so “taken” with this tenant of Judaism–and so struck by how different it is from my personal experience with Christianity. Not that I’m a scholar or even a complete subscriber of any Christian religion–but it seems to me their attitude is that the earth and its abundance is here to benefit man (often regardless of the cost)–and the missing link is this notion of giving back–or making whole again. i’m loving tikkun olam and appreciate the phonetic lesson as well.


      • jstockler February 17, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

        I get a little carried away at times.


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