Barbie: Who is she?

The movie “Barbie” was a genuinely enchanting cinematic experience that weaves elements of music, humour, and a profound message. The film takes the beloved Barbie and Ken dolls. It transforms them into animated characters with human traits, which enables the story to unfold as a joyous celebration until the disruptive notion of ‘death’ intrudes upon their magical world. What follows is a captivating exploration of self-discovery and personal growth as individuals from various walks of life, encompassing genders, generations, and roles, undergo a thorough introspective journey to unearth their ‘true selves.’

A Connection to Yom Kippur

What is particularly impressive about this movie is how it evokes reflections reminiscent of Yom Kippur, the sacred Jewish Holy Day dedicated to contemplating life’s tribulations. Barbie’s narrative delves into the universal human condition, similar to the ritualized Yom Kippur service, which prompts contemplation on personal missteps and the mending of fences. The film is a powerful reminder to self-reflect and consider if we’ve strayed from our values or hurt others.

The movie also connects with communal ideas, similar to the midnight Selichot services before Yom Kippur. These gatherings, often featuring public concerts, mirror a collective effort for self-improvement. I experienced this firsthand at a Beit Avichai, Jerusalem show, where communal spirit and personal reflection came together.

At its core, the movie echoes the timeless message embedded in our tradition: the constant potential for human growth and improvement. The concept of ‘teshuvah,’ or returning to one’s pure soul, is a testament to our inherent capacity for development. Just as the High Holidays stress, the film emphasizes that, like Barbie and Ken’s evolving story, we all can grow personally and together, discovering moments of peace and connection in a fast-paced world.

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