This paper is a critical review of the most relevant studies about the Levinasian concept of passivity. The purpose is to follow the way in which Levinas’s scholars have dealt with the following aspects: the relation between ethical passivity and the possibility of effective ethical agency, the origin of passivity, and the validity of ethical passivity in the public sphere. As a starting point for future research, i finally argue that the best way to read Levinas’s passive ethics is through the dynamism between maximums and minimums present within it. This means that without sacrificing the omni comprehensive view of divine revelation and Jewish tradition, Levinas presents ethics as rationally understandable by everyone and philosophically defensible. Despite being biblically based, Levinas does not appeal to authority in supporting his view, he is confident in arguing rationally. This account could place Levinas in the way of public ethics, which consists in an ethos shared by all members of democratic societies. These minimums of justice could be the way to universalize Levinas’s ethics.