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Manuela Zoninsein writes for the Green Zionist Alliance about

the value of tikkun olam — the Jewish commitment to repairing the world.…

Today, part of repairing the world means ensuring that we can reduce our individual consumption to sustainable levels….

The energy consumed in food production could be reduced greatly if we switched to a non-industrial system. For example, farmers could replace petroleum-based fertilizers with manure, a natural, time-tested option.

In other words: Do tikun olam by switching to manure as a fertilizer.

It's not just Ms. Zoninsein. The well-regarded organization Tevel Betzedek includes, as part of its mission, "creating Israeli and Jewish leadership passionately involved in 'Tikkun Olam' (repairing the world) locally and globally". Toward that mission, they switch villages that "[u]se chemical pesticides and fertilizers that degrade the soil and poison the environment" to villages in which "[f]armers use organic farming methods preserving the environment and utilizing existing resources".

Again: Use manure as a fertilizer to do tikun olam.

Yet in the prayer "Alenu" we say that "l'saken olam", to do tikun olam, includes:

לְהַעֲבִיר גִּלּוּלִים מִן הָאָרֶץ / to remove manure from the earth

How do reconcile these seemingly contradictory sources?


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closed as off-topic by msh210 Mar 19 at 3:21

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2 Answers 2

The word להעביר implies transfer from one place to another. Thus we move the manure from the place that it was produced, and put it in the fields. This idea is alluded to in the text of Aleinu itself.

לתקן עולם במלכות
To do "tikkun olam" with government

The supreme ethical imperative of tikkun olam demands that we collect all the organic fertilizer from the various world parliaments, NGO dinners, and political campaigns where it was produced, and give it to farmers to use in their fields.

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Upon further reflection, if the (admittedly great) quantity political manure is still not sufficient for our agricultural needs, we should begin a program of collecting it from bloggers and forum commenters. Surely all of these sources together would provide sufficient manure for the foreseeable future. –  Mike Mar 2 at 20:38
    
However, if we were to start gathering the manure from youtube comments, the fields would quickly be buried. Then again, youtube manure is dangerous to intelligent life even in very small quantities and growing food with it is antithetical to tikkun olam. –  Yitzchak Mar 2 at 20:40

The זבל לתבל in הלכתא למשיחא explains that להעביר comes from the world עבור, fetus. The implication here the earth will be impregnated with manure and supply its own fertilization when Moshiach comes (similar to how bread will come pre-made from the earth).

This is why the world will be filled with the knowledge of Hashem when Moshiach comes, because people would be unable to learn it due to the vast quantities of manure, where it will be impossible to learn Torah.

(Even though even thinking about Torah would be forbidden under such circumstances, he explains this is why the knowledge will be like the waters cover the sea - once that level of knowledge is attained, it covers over the manure making it possible to think about Torah.)

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