After a hectic and controversial year, the Leviathan Staff thought it would be beneficial to revisit the subject of what it means to be Jewish in today’s world. This is in no way a simple question, as the diversity of the Jewish people speaks to the fluidity of our identity. Are we the culmination of our history, inheriting monotheism through our holy lineage? Or are we just fingerprints, products of our ever-changing environment, blips on the cosmic stage? Are we grounded in our past, or is it our obligation to live in the present and look towards the future?
We did not decide on our cover image this quarter without much deliberation. We hope the message is clear: while we may feel overwhelmed as little individuals within our greater communities, as Jews, as Americans, even as Santa Cruz students, we must remember we are greater than the sum of our parts. Some groups overlap, some clash, but if we allow ourselves to learn from a different perspective, what we find is so much more meaningful and surprising than if we choose to remain in uniform ignorance. Our steadfast refusal to admit fault and listen to those who disagree will only result in the division of our collective identity; we must remain conscious of our assumptions. Even when we disagree, there is still room for all of us within the Jewish community. If we maintain these basic humanist standards, we can become empowered by our differences, and the solidarity of our community will not waver. Through active listening and mutual acceptance, not only can we cultivate something beautiful, we can begin to truly know one another.
Our hope is to inspire you not only to accept Jewishness in all its forms, but to actively push your own boundaries. Grapple with ideas that make you uncomfortable. Play the devil’s advocate. Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to your own assumptions, and don’t just hear, but listen. If you disagree with the ideas in this journal, good! And if they make you question, or even make you think, we will have done our job. Enjoy!
Editor in Cheif