A few weeks ago, I shared on Facebook about a beautiful movie that I saw which was about crossroads we may face when having to choose between family obligations and following the path of our heart.
The movie is Fill the Void, an Israeli drama in Hebrew with English subtitles.
The film centers around Shira, an 18-year old girl raised in the orthodox Hasidic community in Tel Aviv, and her family, in the aftermath of the sudden death of Esther (Shira’s elder sister) during childbirth.
Shira’s mom, to cope with her grief in losing Esther, asks Shira to cancel her marriage plans with a young man in the community and instead marry her widowed brother-in-law. This way Shira’s mom hopes to keep her infant grandson nearby and assure that he receives a mother’s love through Shira.
Sounds like a Bollywood movie plot, don’t you think? 😊
Here is one of my favorite scenes:
When Shira reluctantly agrees to this marriage, the Rabbi asks her why. Shira immediately replies so that she fulfills her duties in a way that is satisfactory for all.
But what about your feelings, the wise Rabbi asks?
Shira is taken aback and says that feelings don’t matter because she is fulfilling her familial obligations.
But it is feelings which matter the most, replies the Rabbi. It is feelings that matter the most.
And his words invite Shira and her family to enter a spiritual odyssey in search of a deeper truth.
What is family?
How do we heal from loss?
Must we ignore our feelings in service to our families and larger community?
Can individual aspiration and well-being be part of family healing or is sacrifice inevitable?
And what is the role of faith, prayer and community when we face loss and grief?
Hope this movie helps you find some answers and open your heart to some deeper questions too!!