This piece was first published in The Times of Israel.
Newsweek puts out an annual list of the most influential rabbis.The Forward compiles a list of the most inspiring ones. So, perhaps it was only a matter of time before we’d see the latest example of the trend: The Sexiest Rabbis List.
Jewrotica, an online hub for Jewish sexual expression, is putting out the call for nominations for this list. On October 17, Jewrotica’s 28-year-old founder and editor Ayo Oppenheimer announced the project. Four days, 20,000 hits, and 60 nominations later, “Sexiest Rabbis” has been changed to “Hottest Rabbis” in response to apparent widespread misunderstanding of the nomination criteria.
“We just put ‘sexy’ in the title, because that’s the vocabulary we use at Jewrotica. We’re being edgy, fun and youthful – not disrespectful,” explained Oppenheimer. “If you read the nomination information, then you’ll see that we are looking for rabbis with smarts, who are involved in outreach or social justice activism, and who have that bad-ass factor.” By “bad ass factor,” she means unique, cool personality traits or skills, like playing jazz or riding a motorcycle.
“We’re not at all looking at physical looks. It has nothing to do with measurements or six-packs. There is so much more than that that makes someone attractive,” Oppenheimer continued.
Jewrotica may have changed “sexy” to “hot,” but for some, it’s a difference without a distinction.
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© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.