Page 2 - Core Beliefs For Intentional Community
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transformation as an infinite process to further Tikkun Olam – social and environmental
                     CORE BELIEFS for INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY                                                                       justice.

                                      The Intentional Communities Desk                                                            With the onset of modernity, traditional community began to disintegrate.  The process is

                                of the Kibbutz Movement As Study Group                                                            still very much with us today.  Most of us are not born into community.  We are born into a
                                  (Formerly the International Communes Desk)                                                      framework of nuclear family, sometimes only partial nuclear family.   An important aspect

                                                                                                                                  of the modern movement for Jewish national renewal, the Zionist movement, was the call
            Introduction.                                                                                                         for a return to purposive Jewish community.  The best known expression of this aspect of

            During the years 2012-2014, the Intentional Communities Desk held a series of                                         Zionism was the kibbutz.
            discussions on core aspects of intentional community. Broadly defined, intentional
            communities are communities formed on a voluntary basis by individuals with shared                                    Within the context of modernity, the decision to participate in community meant the

            values and ideals.                                                                                                    conscious decision of the individual to do so – in particular if the community is an intentional
                                                                                                                                  community.  The individual has to decide if he/she wants a life of meaning and that such a
            These  discussions appeared in the issues of CALL – Communities at Large Letter as                                    life is best realized in a community of like-minded others.   This was the essential personal
            articles during the years 2012—2014, issues 34-38. We have seen it fit to republish                                   decision in personal Tikkun, personal self-transformation, for those who sought to
            these articles as an educational resource for our readers. The booklet will also be on-                               participate in Jewish renewal.   The Labor Zionist philosopher, A.D. Gordon, 1856-1922, put

            line at                                                                                           it thus:

            Five meetings of the Desk were devoted to this project – each meeting had a                                           “Insofar as I have not yet experienced a change in my purpose for living there is no reason
            particular focus.  The foci were:  Faith, Human Nature and Free Will, Community and                                   for me to seek a new life, as I will not find it.  A new life is first and foremost a new
            the Human as  a Communal Being, Shlichut – The idea of “Mission” and “Tikkun Olam”:                                   purpose for living…”

            Intentional Community for  World Mending and Transformation. Their order in this                                      Gordon’s view was a balanced one.  He rejected those who would sacrifice their personal
            booklet has been slightly altered from the order of their original publication. This
            booklet is representative – not definitive.                                                                           self-fulfillment in work and love (“Life of the Hour”) for the sake of an ideal (“Life
                                                                                                                                  Eternal”).   He believed that the purpose for living had to permeate self-fulfillment in the
                                                                                                                                  here and now in order to realize a link to Life Eternal.

            Faith.                                                                                                                INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY, PEACE AND TIKKUN OLAM.

            First and foremost, the ongoing personal decision to live in intentional community is a                               National and international movements of intentional community begin with individuals who
            matter of individual faith.  The belief that there is a purpose to our existence over                                 seek a life of purpose.  Tikkun Olam is a message of peace and sustainability for all.
            and above satisfying our individual material and psychological needs as well as those of

            our immediate family is a matter of faith.  It cannot be proved or disproved.  Our                                    “Rabbi Shimon said: The world stands on three things – on the Law, on the Truth and on
            discussion on this question utilized the writings of two philosophers as well as two                                  Peace. (Talmud, Avot 1:18)
            poets.                                                                                                                The intentional community becomes the unit for “being the change” (Gandhi) which seeks to

            Paul Tillich (1880-1965) was a German Protestant theologian who fled to the United                                    realize “in micro” a vision for society “in macro”. The striving for Tikkun Olam is a universal

            States upon the advent of Hitler.                                                                                     message for all peoples.  Each people, in cooperation with other peoples must seek social
                                                                                                                                  and environmental justice in its allotted portion of Divine Creation through the lens of its
            A.D. Gordon (1856-1922)  was the philosopher and mythic personality whose ideas had                                   unique culture.  Only thus can universal sustainability and peace be realized.
            a seminal influence on the founding generation of the kibbutz movement.
                                                                                                                                  In the words of the prophet:
            The excerpt from “Laugh, Laugh at the Dreams” is by the poet, Shaul Tchernichovsky
            (1875-1943).  “You and I will Change the World” was a hit song in Israel written by                                   “…all the peoples walk each in the name of its gods” to the goal – “Nation shall not take up
                                                                                                                                  sword against nation, they shall never again know war." (Micah 4:5)
            Arik Einstein (1939-2013)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Compiled by Michael Livni

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