I find Pesach stunning for its integrating the particular redemption story of a particular people into a moral message that is universal; or the reverse, routing a universal story into the particular story of the Jewish nation. It is really easy to miss the point in extreme universalization of the Pesach messages towards abstractions about liberty and justice, and extreme particularization of the story to be about just the story of the Jewish people without reference to the themes in the story that have defined and transformed monotheistic civilization for millennia. The conversation about universalism and particularism is much less interest when these values are imagined in tension than when we explore their deep codependencies. The implied tensions are the ultimate site of embedded conflict that can emerge at the Seder. Watch for it and don’t fall into the trap. The opposite of a narrow and fundamentalist view is not an insisting on the *opposing* narrow and fundamentalist view to create “balance” – it is to push towards the implied nuance that the Pesach story really embodies.
Yehuda Kurtzer, Facebook post (4 April 2017) [https://www.facebook.com/yehuda.kurtzer/posts/10155240824907174]