Least Influential Jews

We’re heading into the end of the year, so it’s time for GQ’s list of the 25 least influential people of 2012. When it comes to this distinction, the tribe is represented by troubled starlet Amanda Bynes (ranked #2!), Oscars host Billy Crystal, “The Newsroom” writer Aaron Sorkin, and actor Adam Sandler.

There are only eight contestants remaining on “The X Factor,” and 13-year-old phenom Carly Rose Sonenclar is in the lead. With Sonenclar’s amazing rendition of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” she continued to impress the audience and the judges, including Simon Cowell who joked that he would have to disqualify her for being an alien (because how could a young teenage human have such a powerful, soulful voice?).

Fran Drescher is a cougar and proud of it. The 55-year-old actress told HuffPo in a video interview that, with her high energy level and contemporary tastes, she’s really only interested in dating younger men. She’s doing her best to impose some limits, and says she’ll try to stick to guys who are no more than 10 years her junior.

A couple of new bundles of joy have entered the world. Fred Savage and wife Jennifer welcomed their third child, a boy. Judge Judy (Scheindlin) now has a complete jury with the arrival of her 12th grandchild, a little girl born to her son Gregory and his wife Laurie.

Daniel Radcliffe has made it into the Sundance Film Festival for the first time, with his drama “Kill Your Darlings, in which he plays poet Allen Ginsberg. The film about the Beat Generation will compete in the U.S. dramatic competition at the festival in January.

What does Gwyneth Paltrow do when she can’t find a one-shouldered yoga top she likes? She collaborates with an exercise wear company to make one that she can sell exclusively on her Goop website.

Alison Brie demonstrates her talent for dancing the Charleston during her sexy photo shoot for Nylon Guys.

Logan Lerman joined some other young actors for a panel discussion at The Variety Studio: Awards Edition event in L.A.

Lisa Edelstein is going from “House” to “House of Lies.” She will have a guest starring role on the latter, a Showtime program with Don Cheadle.

Comedic actor Jack Black is girding himself in advance of his being roasted by the Friars Club this coming April. “Anyone could really take me to pieces. I’m not gonna give any ammunition away,” he said. “I regret having ever agreed to it, but I’m going to go through with it.”

Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning were seen strollingtogether in New York’s Soho neighborhood. This, of course, means the two are dating. Or not.

Take a look at this fab video stylist Rachel Zoe put together with pop duo Karmin for Coach.com.

Marissa Jaret Winokur, who usually devotes her blog to reflections on her recent major weight loss, focused her latest post on the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy.

HuffPo feels it necessary to point out that celebrity siblings have inherited some beauty genes, too. In a slideshow of handsome brothers and pretty sisters of people famous for their good looks, we see: James Franco’s younger brother Dave; Scarlett Johansson’s twin brother Hunter; and Kate Hudson’s older brother Oliver.

Your Stories

  • "I push wagons, I work with a shovel, I turn rotten in the rain, I shiver in the wind; already my own body is no longer mine: my belly is swollen, my limbs emaciated, my face is thick in the morning, hollow in the evening; some of us have yellow skin, others grey. When we do not meet for a few days we hardly recognize each other."Primo Levi, "Survival in Auschwitz"

  • "This holiday we take for ourselves,
 no longer silent servers behind the curtain, 
but singers of the seder,
 with voices of gladness,
 creating our own convocation,
 and leaving ‘The Narrow Place’ together."E.M. Broner

  • "The idea of opening the door is that we hope Elijah might actually be there this year – that we might actually have done enough to change the world to have had him arrive. And, if we don’t have even the tiniest bit in us that thinks he might be there, that thinks we have tried our hardest to bring around a messianic time, with no hunger, no war, no conflict, no pain – if we don’t believe that we have tried to end those broken parts in the world – well, then I tell my students – don’t do any of it."Rabbi Leora Kaye

  • "The whole seder, for me, is the tension between two statements: We say, 'We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt and now we’re free,' but before that, we pick up the matzoh, we invite the hungry in and we say, 'This year we are slaves, next year may we be free.' We are the most fortunate, liberated Jews in history. But on the other hand, there are lots of things that enslave us."Rabbi Arthur Green

  • "To tune of "Mack the Knife": "Enter Haman ben Hamdasa, /And he’s claimin’, he’s an Agagite. /Better look out, oh Hadassah/For that Haman—he’s an Amalekite./And though Haman, he’s in power now, That old Mordy, will not bow down. /Haman’s ego, it takes a powder now. And just like that—Amalek’s in town!""By Rabbi Jan Uhrbach

  • "Do you know that every shepherd/ has his own tune? / Do you know that every blade/ of grass has its own poem?/ And from the poem/ of the grasses,/ a tune of the shepherd/ is made./ How beautiful and/ pleasant to hear/ this poem!"Reb Nachman of Breslov's Likutei Moharan

  • "Tu B'Shvat is more than a New Year for Trees -- it is a call to action. To observe Tu B'Shvat isn't to read and pray, but to do, to plant, to place one's hands in contact with the Earth....While we may mark Tu B'Shvat as a Jewish Earth Day once a year, we are responsible as Jews to act as environmental stewards every day."David Krantz - Aytzim: Ecological Judaism

  • "Donniel Hartman said the miracle of Hanukkah is not just that the oil lasted 8 days; it’s actually that it lasted more than one. Would we have said, 'Dayenu,' (to mix metaphors,) if it had lasted two days? Would we have had a holiday? Probably, yes. The idea that we as a Jewish community, even in our darkest moments, hold out the hope that a candle is going to keep burning, I find very powerful."Rabbi Rachel Ain

  • "“We would all argue vehemently and work tireless against assimilation. But the Hellenists and we Reform Jews didn’t assimilate. We acculturate, and by doing so, provide a portal for continuity unavailable to those who continue a quasi-ghettoized existence with all the ramifications thereof, good and bad. The irony, rarely mentioned by those who use the Hanukah story to justify Orthodoxy, is that the Maccabees (Hasmoneans) lasted a century and a half before they disappeared, having taken on Greek names as High Priests and Kings. And Rabbinic Judaism, the first ‘reform’ movement, birthed all of us.”"Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein

  • "I find it refreshing to go from carrying the decomposing lulav and etrog in our hands in procession for 7 days (save for Shabbat), to carry absolutely nothing on Shemini Atzeret, to then carry a Torah on Simchat Torah. It’s like Judaism’s way of saying… ‘What you are carrying with you on this journey — Torah, lessons, stories, values, covenant, a connection with a higher power and history — all of the intangibles, you carry them with you on the tangible, tentative, twisting path of life."Rabbi Paul Jacobson

  • "Shemini Atzeret is conceptually an attempt to maintain the holiday relationship with God without any specific rituals. In modern times it has been become eclipsed by the joy and dancing of Simchat Torah. This speaks to the difficulty in a pure relationship without concrete modes of expression. It could be a reminder that our close relationships exist even when we don't exchange presents or cards."Rabbi Yosef Blau

  • "Sukkot is the reminder that it doesn't take two days or even two years to go from darkness to light. It might take an entire lifetime to get there and you have to constantly walk with the belief that it's possible."Rabbi Sharon Brous

  • "Yom Kippur: God is our judge. Sukkot: God is our shelter. Yom Kippur: you sit cooped up for endless hours. Sukkot is about space and breath. Yom Kippur, it’s all about, ‘What have I done?’ And Sukkot is, ‘What can I do in the world?’"Rabbi Naomi Levy

  • "The Rabbis in the Talmud spoke of the necessity of both sinai and oker harim, that is both those who collected traditions that were handed down and also those who literally “overturned mountains.” Essentially, the one group would not survive without the other. It is in the radical interpretations of the given traditions, and in the broad and fluent knowledge of the traditions that one is able to create radical new interpretations."Dr. Aryeh Cohen

  • ""I have never felt that repentence, prayer, and tzedakah would change my fate. Rather, I feel that through honest reflection, refinement, and a sense of responsibility, I do have incredible power to affect the decree for others.""Cantor Ellen Dreskin

  • "Teshuvah does invite us to begin again, but not from the beginning. Part of what it means to be human is to learn how to begin again and again – from right where we are, right in the messy middle of things. The Torah, according to an ancient midrash, reminds us of this truth by opening the story of creation itself with the letter Bet…Even when we have rolled the parchment scroll as far back as it will go, the letter Bet meets us there -- insisting that this story cannot be told from the very beginning. No story can. Beginnings elude us."Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

  • "This year our theme at Temple Emanuel Beverly Hills is “If not Now, When?” and we asked congregants to tweet their responses to #innwtebh or to fill out cards filling in the blanks :“If not now, when will I….” We will prepare these ‘intentions for the year” in a similar way, as a power point presentation scrolling quietly on the screen facing the congregation as individuals come forward silently in front of the open ark before neilah."Rabbi Laura Geller

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