A particular bone of our contentions [between Horowitz and his daughter Sarah] was the Kabbalistic concept of a tikkun olam, which means “repair of the world.” I had come to the conclusion that this was an impossible dream, and the refusal to recognize this fact was the source of innumerable miseries that human beings had inflicted on themselves since the beginning of time. Sarah believed in a tikkun olam just as fiercely as I disbelieved, but with nuances that I missed for a very long time.
In a book I wrote about death and the goals we should pursue in life, which I called The End of Time, I summed up my views. I observed that all the prophets taught us to love each other as we love ourselves and to take the attitude that “there but for the grace of God go I.” But this was finally, I thought, imprudent advice. Is it wise, I wrote, “to put our trust in strangers, or to love our enemies as ourselves? Would we advise our children to do so?” Are we really one with criminals?