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Tefillin Barbie and more!

Note: All images on this post are © 2006 Jen Taylor Friedman.

I saw her here first, the genius handiwork of an acquaintance, Jen Taylor Friedman, a NY-based soferet. Not only did she make Tefillin Barbie, she photographed her beautifully. As of last week, Tefillin Barbie does more than lay tefillin. See them all together here.

But I'm not the only one with opinions about her. And now you can bid on her on Ebay!

I don't feel like I need to write a whole megillah [tee hee!] about Tefillin Barbie. Overall, I find her a wonderful act of ironic rebellion. Her creation has turned the symbol of mass-consumer culture into an individual imbued with lofty intellectual goals, someone who does not acquiesce to mainstream opinion in pursuit of her spiritual goals. I suppose there is part of me who likes that she is a woman wearing tefillin, but I think I might be as enamored of a Ken doll wearing tallit and tefillin or lighting Shabbat candles, or of Rainbow Brite or Polly Pocket lighting Shabbat candles or holding a siddur. But, perhaps not. Barbie is so strongly tied in my mind to makeup, hair styling, and rampant sex with Ken, that I really like the idea of turning her into a woman literally clothed in kedusha [holiness], rather than in garish makeup, shimmery strapless wedding gowns, and impossibly high heels.

Finally, Barbie has done something I can be proud of!


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