Fein argues that the tensions between particularism and universalism can and should never be resolved. He believes that this is a tension that is “meant not only to challenge us but also to enliven us.” He believes Rabbi Hillel’s statements, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?” and “If I am only for myself, what am I?” are meant to be heard simultaneously , despite the tension. He notes that Hillel asks a final question, “If not now, when?” using it to argue that, “the tension cannot be used as an excuse. We are bound to act, the tension notwithstanding.”

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