Netflix’s ‘You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’ is a comedy-drama that follows the story of Stacy Friedman. With her bat mitzvah approaching, Stacy is focused on making it as big and successful a day as possible. Having a great bat mitzvah is the key to ensuring one’s popularity for the rest of the time in school, which is why Stacy and her best friend Lydia help each other to make their bat mitzvahs as great as possible.
While the girls are focused on the parties, they are not as focused on the part that comes before it. At Hebrew school, Rabbi Rebecca often reminds Stacy of how she is behind in her mitzvah project and hasn’t been practicing her Torah portion. The rabbi also calls Stacy Seema. If you are wondering why that is, here’s what you should know. SPOILERS AHEAD
Why Does Rabbi Rebecca Call Stacy Seema?
Rabbi Rebecca calls Stacy Seema because that is her Hebrew name. Hebrew names are given to babies shortly after birth and are usually used only in religious contexts. Stacy and her friends go to Hebrew school, where the rabbi calls all of them by their Hebrew names. The reason why no one else calls Stacy Seema is not mentioned in the film. In the book by Fiona Rosenbloom, on which the Netflix series is based, Stacy reveals that she doesn’t like it when someone calls her by her Hebrew name, the only exception being the rabbi.
Like in the book, the rabbi plays an important part in helping Stacy go through difficult times and provides her with a direction to focus her energy on. While Stacy is entirely focused on the bat mitzvah party and how to get Andy Goldfarb, Rabbi Rebecca keeps her on track regarding her mitzvah project and Torah portions, which she emphasizes mean much more than the party and will be instrumental in helping her grow. Stacy often interprets the rabbi’s words to mean what she wants to hear, but eventually, she learns the true meaning of mitzvah and focuses on being a better person who cares about the people around her and society at large.
Another significance behind the rabbi calling Stacy by her Hebrew name is to keep her grounded and in touch with her roots. Rabbi Rebecca encourages Stacy and other kids in the school to see their bar and bat mitzvahs as a mere ceremony or technicality in their lives. She encourages them to be more serious about their projects and Torah portions because it will help them get some perspective they lack as teenagers and figure out the things that seem impossible at the moment. All of this rings true for Stacy by the end of the film, as the meaning of having a great bat mitzvah is rewritten for her.