top of page

Rabbi Dr. House Jewish ethical questions and dilemmas raised in the TV series

Course Price


Course length

60 Min

Buy Course
Rabbi Dr. House Jewish ethical questions and dilemmas raised in the TV series


Henry Jakubowicz

About the course

It was one of the evenings after my basketball practice, when I sat down in front of the TV and checked out what should I watch now?! Not that I wanted to learn or see something specific, it was just too early to go to sleep ….

So I surfed through the stations and saw an ad that in a few minutes a TV show named "Dr. House" (played by Hugh Laurie) should start on RTL. In the last weeks, I saw a lot of advertisement for this show, but as I never wanted to become a doctor and I also do not like seeing blood, these TV doctor shows were totally irrelevant and uninteresting to me...but on this evening there was nothing else and as stated it was just too early to go to I started to watch and very quickly understood that behind the medical challenges, there was also another big topic touched, human relationships and psychology, and this I was very interested in.

I got used to the medical questions raised in the TV show but fascinated by the psychology and general philosophical questions raised. Dr. House seems very unhappy with his personal life and life in general but does everything to find solutions to save and extend life. He seems not to like people but needs them, and not only their medical skills, but in order to think, function, and to do his job the best way possible. He lives at the edge and searches for kicks to feel life and is always very interested in the private life of his employees. Every sort of routine is totally ridiculous to him.So after a while, it became my weekly routine to watch Dr. House after basketball practice, every Tuesday evening at 21:45 Germany time, and enjoyed it

After many years, I already moved to Israel, I learned about a psychological challenge which reminded me of many issues Dr. House showed and were mentioned in the TV show. I ordered the whole series (8 chapters on DVDs), which than already was stopped not being produced anymore and started to see all the parts from the beginning till the end in chronological order and found another interesting layer for me, that some ethical questions "I heard before" and sounded very familiar.
* On some days I saw up to 6 shows x 50min per day...somehow slightly addicted!

For example, two people are alone in the desert and there is only enough water for one person to survive, who should take the water. Or the question who is a real hero ?!  "Zadik ve ra lo" - a righteous who is in bad conditions like Hiob and many more...I knew these questions from the Talmud! And they sounded so familiar that I could not believe that there is no connection...

Now to bring as proof that the director is a Jewish Canadian (David Shore) would not be convincing proof as the show was produced in Los Angeles and Vancouver. That many actresses are Jewish is still no evidence, and to be straightforward I never found 100% evidence besides that both two brothers of the director are Rabbis and in my mind, he must have been influenced to raise these questions, the way they were raised in the TV Show.

It is still today the only TV show I saw in total and the only one I bought! (This was before Netflix!)

In my 60min lecture, we will see some scenes from Dr. House and discuss the questions raised and also learn how the same question is answered based on the Jewish sources!

bottom of page