Non-Fiction - Social Issues
310 Pages
Reviewed on 03/30/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite

Tikkunim: Corrections is a collection of articles and essays by Jewish-American journalist Jesse Bogner. His personal transformation from the addictive lifestyle of a decadent and elitist New Yorker to a student of Kabbalah in Israel is outlined in his memoir The Egotist. The articles in this collection continue the theme of transformation, addressing the failings of politics to solve the problems of our people, our nation, and a world in crisis. They offer hope of a better world through love and connectedness. “Our world is broken and the time has come to correct it,” Bogner writes. “We are critically divided. It can’t get much worse. Politics is a street fight. Partisanship has destroyed any free flow of ideas. Our hope lies in an effort to connect to each other. As humans, it is our responsibility to try and improve our world.” (excerpts from several articles)

As a moderate independent who avoids divisive partisan politics like the plague, I found several points of common ground in Tikkunim. I also found Bogner's conclusion about brotherly love and connectedness being the true solutions for the world's ills as very similar to the teachings of my own faith. Because the articles were separately written, there is some overlap between them. But Bogner’s frank, fact-driven, and well-paced writing style had me quickly engrossed and I found the articles extremely educational. A reader may not agree with the conclusions or see Kabbalah as his own spiritual path. Depending on where he falls on the political or religious spectrum, he may be in wholehearted agreement with or offended by what he reads. But there is something here for every good-hearted person to think about, and only greater good can come to the world by fostering love and connectedness between us. Goodness knows, we need more of it.

Divine Zape

Tikkunim: Corrections by Jesse Bogner is a collection of thoughts on a wide range of social issues, a book that comes across as an invaluable tool for a world that is slowly sinking, losing its spiritual origins. The author gives a meaningful answer to the spiritual and moral crisis that has characterized contemporary society, and that seems to be leading the world towards a path of certain decay and death. Weaving into the work his experience of conversion from an egotist to one who finds meaning in living with and for others, the author shares his hard-won wisdom with readers. In this book, readers will understand what it is that fuels hatred, the destructive power of anti-Semitism, and how it can be destroyed. Readers will find compelling thoughts on politics and a path to returning to a society where spiritual values of tolerance, mutual respect, love, and care still find a place in the human heart and culture.

This book carries a powerful, prophetic message and it contains the warning that our current culture and politics are designed to destroy what is essential about humanity, while proposing a path of redemption for our world. In this book, readers will find inspiration in following the author’s journey to transforming his hatred into love. In fact, they will understand the source and power of human emotion and how seeds of love can be found in the experience of hatred. The writing is bold and confident and I enjoyed the way the author weaves his personal experience into the work. This book is well-researched and Jesse Bogner exhibits a strong gift for perception and clarity in his prose. Tikkunim: Corrections is an eye-opener for anyone seeking the path of enlightenment, wisdom, and love. One of those books you read, take notes, and pass along.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Tikkunim (Corrections) by Jesse Bogner is a journalistic style of writing, a discussion of world climate, of discrimination, racism and hatred that is rife in the world today. Written as a series of articles, this is a journey through an individual spiritual transformation, the realization that, as humans destroy the world, so we can fix it. How? By changing our values. Jesse once lived in New York, living a self-indulgent lifestyle, but after a move to Israel he learned about Kabbalah and how concern for others can be one of the most uplifting experiences. Too many books explore the roots of hatred and Jesse explains how this is one of the best ways to find love. He talks of anti-Semitism, of why he became a Conservative when Trump was elected as the President. Find out why and find out how he found a way to fix the world, his world at least, by delving into Tikkunim.

Tikkunim (Corrections) by Jesse Bogner is a thought-provoking book. I’m not normally one for reading this kind of book, but I was fascinated by the subjects covered. It is interesting to read how making one decision, what seems like an inconsequential decision at the time, can lead to major changes. This isn’t another of those self-help books. These articles are composed by an intelligent man, a brave man who wants to impart his not inconsiderable knowledge and his observations of the world as it is now, and what we can do about it. It’s about learning not to take things at face value, not to follow the crowd, but to make your own informed decisions, to see how religion and politics play a huge part in our lives. This book will change the way you look at the world as a whole, right down to everything you see, hear or do. Recommended for anyone who is thinking about making changes in their lives.

Jamie Michele

Tikkunim (Corrections) by Jesse Bogner is a collection of the author's thoughts, articles, personal experiences, photographs, social media posts, and conversations on a whole host of topics, ranging from politics and religion to multiculturalism and the repetition of history. There's even a blurb on Bogner's opinion of the current state of film-making, sandwiched between sections on Jewish literature and anti-Semitism ("While some people say “What about Moonlight,” I would argue it’s not even the best American film in a year of very bad films. Manchester by the Sea and Nocturnal Animals were way better."). Interspersed throughout his opinions, Bogner provides background, facts, and, in many cases, supporting evidence for his stances.

It's evident that while Tikkunim was a work in progress, some of Bogner's assertions (particularly, a Trump win prediction) bordered on prophetic. The book is as intelligently written as it is indiscriminately compiled, with punches of contentious, unencumbered declarations meeting at the intersection of spirituality and calm. In fairness, even if a reader doesn't agree with everything the author has to say, it's virtually impossible to ignore the things he does get right. I personally found a lot of the reading to be uncomfortable, but something tells me that is exactly what Bogner was after. Debate fuels thought. Thought fuels reflection. Reflection fuels understanding. And it is here, in our communal convictions and shared aphorism, that Bogner and I will agree: He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his peace.

Alyssa Elmore

Imagine a world where balance, equality, and justice are the norm. War does not exist, and petty fights are no longer fought. Tikkunim by Jesse Bogner is an enlightening philosophical look into how we, the people, can change our world into a better place - without fighting, accusing, and hating. The book's message is clear; by removing our ego, and rebuilding our families, communities, and countries from a place of love, we can live more peaceful and abundant lives. Although balancing love with ego sounds a little foreign to many people, the author explains that it is rooted in ancient teachings. The saying "Love thy neighbor as thyself" is a well-known example, clearly illustrating the need to step out of ego's comfort zone, to show selfless love and concern. This love moves beyond socially acceptable protocol, and what many people are lauded for, such as charitable work; it shows a deep respect for people as the light beings that they are. By focusing on the love and light in each individual, we can begin to see past gender, race, and religion. We can stop relying on the government to initiate changes, and start to create improvements within our communities by creating a system of support and balance. It is time that the world changed; are you willing to stop thinking of just yourself and what you want from life?

Tikkunim by Jesse Bogner is an eye-opening read. At first, I felt that maybe the author was a little too stuck in his political views, but, the more I got into the book, the better I admired him for pushing past common rationale and posing such simple, easy to follow models, that I was instantly filled with hope. His views on the American Dream and where it went wrong are spot-on and inspiring. If you struggle with your view of the world and what you wish the world were, or you feel that our parents and grandparents had it better than us, then this is a must-read. I highly recommend this book to anyone tired of the political merry-go-round, the racism, sexism, political correctness, etc. This book is the first step to the change we need.