It’s in the “Telling” (by Asking): A Passover Analogy to Explain the Enduring Foundational Nature of Carrie Menkel-Meadow’s Dispute Resolution Scholarship

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10 Texas A&M Law Review 25 (2022)


One true measure of whether ideas are “foundational” is whether they will resonate with future generations. One of the world’s oldest religions, Judaism, offers an annual ritual – the Passover Seder – that is a case study for successfully passing down foundational ideas. That ritual, among other things, posits that to tell an enduring story, it must be told in ways that inspire many different kinds of people – with widely disparate motivations, perspectives, and abilities – to engage with, relate to, and understand the story. This essay asserts that Carrie Menkel-Meadow’s dispute resolution scholarship is very much a successful “telling” with many characteristics remarkably similar to the Passover Seder. And that, in turn explains why Menkel-Meadow’s work has been so important to the first generation of dispute resolution scholars and practitioners and why it will endure as foundational for generations to come.