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Comfort for Critters

~ Celebrating 12 Years & 72,000+ Blankets ~

Have you found your Tikkun Olam?

I’ve recently come across the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam, and it’s hard to believe that in over half a century this idea has not crossed my path. It describes acts of kindness designed to improve, perfect or even repair the world. It’s often applied to issues that help protect those that are at a disadvantage in our society, or groups that require extra protection because of their status.

The goal is to bring our world closer to the way it was originally created. The concept explains that any human activity is an opportunity to fulfill the mission of Tikkun Olam. So despite being a Jewish concept, it can be embraced by us all.

First used in the 1950’s to refer to social action, it really applies more broadly, but I appreciate that its focus is on “action” and not just intent. The notion of “Tikkun” is the idea that the world is profoundly broken and it is humanity’s responsibility to fix it. Beyond just repair, Tikkun asks that we improve upon it. “Olam”refers to the entire world, so there’s no country, or neighborhood, off the hook. Olam can also mean “hidden”, so the idea conveys that the paradise which originally existed will be no longer hidden. Through our acts of repair, it will be revealed in all its glory and wonder.

Tikkun Olam can be a mission embraced by every human being. It’s not just a concept for activists, but for all of us. It’s a calling to be a change agent, right where we are. I think about all the Comfort for Critters volunteers and supporters who have joined our growing team, and can’t help but see Tikkun Olam come to life every day. Each time someone creates a blanket, ships a box to a shelter or donates supplies, they are taking action to create a world where animal shelters have more than just the necessities, they have creature comforts as well. As the pets wait to join their new families, they are cared for and even pampered a bit, with the comforts of home. I hear this often from shelters, that our blankets help the shelters go above and beyond, as they care for these innocent “little lives.”

The Jewish concept also teaches that any “Tikkun” reverberates throughout the world and holds the potential for great change. I can personally attest that what started as a small ripple has grown, on its own, into a sizable wave that is impacting the lives of pets and volunteers. I never saw this coming, but now I understand that this was part of the plan!

As a Christian I’ve accepted living in a fallen world, and have both contributed to its undoing and been a victim of its fallen state. My faith also teaches me that our Creator often works through people, inviting us to be partners in the creation of “heaven on earth.” To me that sounds like both a high hurdle to clear and an exciting challenge.

The message of Tikkun Olam, partners nicely with a famous quote from President Theodore Roosevelt. He encourages all of us to, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” There’s a job waiting for each of us, a repair job, as it turns out. Pastor Rick Warren would tell us that we are each uniquely created to do a job which God has specifically created for us. Simply put, if we don’t do it, it just won’t get done.

So follow your passion, and that still small voice that guides you onto your next repair job. Maybe it’s making a blanket for a shelter pet, maybe something entirely different. By embracing our own calling, our own Tikkun Olam, we may just find rest in this weary world.

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Thank you so much for talking about Tikkun Olam! I am Jewish, and I really think that it's our duty to help to repair the ills of the world, as best we can.

I am so excited about your new closed Facebook group! I have been shipping yarn to you for quite a while, and it would be lovely to find knitters and crocheters near me to whom I could donate the yarn directly so that they could make blankets for animals in local shelters.

I've knitted "critter blankets" in the past, but I knit very loosely, so critters could get their paws caught in one of my blankets. I've tightened up on my knitting, but that just hurts my hands. So, I've been thrilled to be able to help Comfort for Critters by sending you yarn.

My husband and I have six cats and two dogs. They are all seniors and rescues, and most of them have special needs. We figured that, if we're going to have critters in our lives, we want to take in those who have a difficult time getting adopted. Our dogs and cats bring us so much joy and laughter every day. We can only hope that we make them as happy as they make us.

Thank you so much for all that you do! Comfort for Critters is just the best!

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