Rabbi Aaron Panken, Ph.D, was interviewed by the editors of Reform Judaism magazine on the occasion of his assuming the presidency of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion on January 1, 2014.
Making sweeping historical generalizations is easy. Lots of people make them, even the best of historians.
Broad statements can be a “necessary evil” when one is faced with limited time or space to make an historical point. But generalities can easily mutate into over-simplifications that ultimately obscure – if not distort – historical narratives of particular moments or communities.