‘The Patient’: Why Ezra Converting to Orthodox Judaism Is Such a Big Deal – Showbiz Cheat Sheet

Posted By on October 6, 2022

The Patient has a fairly simple premise. A serial killer named Sam kidnaps his therapist, Dr. Alan Strauss, hoping he can cure his compulsion to kill. Yet the Hulu series goes deeper, diving into Alans mind and memories. Slowly The Patient reveals how Alans son Ezras conversion to Orthodox Judaism caused a rift in the family. Heres why Ezra converting is such a big deal.

[SPOILER ALERT: Spoilers aheadThe Patient Episode 7, Kaddish.]

In Hulus The Patient, Steve Carells character Alan Strauss and his wife Beth practiced a Liberal or Reform Judaism. They raised their children, Shoshana and Ezra, in this religion. Beth was a cantor at their temple, devoting much of her life to her faith.

At one point, Ezra seemed to have enjoyed this aspect of his mother. A flashback shows Ezra as a child running to the front of the temple to join his mother as she sings.

However, things took a turn when Ezra fell in love with an Orthodox Jewish woman and converted. According to differencebetween.net, Orthodox Jews believe that women distract mens focus during worship. Only men can perform duties such as rabbis, cantors, and educators, unlike in Reform Judaism.

In another flashback from Ezras wedding, Beth insists on singing at the reception, though an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi tells her its not allowed in their faith. Several of Ezras wedding guests get up and leave in apparent disgust.

Although Alan tried to keep the peace, Ezras conversion to Orthodox Judaism caused a massive shift in his relationship with his parents. A flashback from years later shows Ezra visiting Alan and Beth with his wife and children.

As Orthodox Jews, Ezras family eats a kosher diet. This means they only eat foods that conform to the Jewish dietary restrictions of kashrut. Alan, Beth, their daughter Shoshona and her husband and children do not appear to keep kosher.

The Spruce Eats estimates that as high as 98% of Orthodox Jews keep kosher, while only around 7% of Reform Jews upheld the practice. Ezra is shown serving his children food brought from home, while Beth gives Shoshonas children ice cream sundaes for dessert.

While this dinner scene might not be the most dramatic of the series, the importance of sharing a meal among families cant be understated. Food is a recurring theme throughout the series. Its the one thing (besides Kenny Chesney) that serial killer Sam is passionate about.

Alan and Sam share quite a few elaborate takeout meals together, something that Alan couldnt do with his own son. The rift in Ezra and Beths relationship was never repaired, even when Beth was dying of cancer, and Alans estrangement from his son deeply troubles him to this day.

Watch new episodes ofThe Patientevery Tuesday exclusively on Hulu.

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'The Patient': Why Ezra Converting to Orthodox Judaism Is Such a Big Deal - Showbiz Cheat Sheet

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