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Yonatan
412 dont ever change
Name Yonatan
Marital Status Married to Roz
Actor Eyal Podell
First Appearance Don't Ever Change
Yonatan was the husband of Roz, the patient in Don't Ever Change. He was portrayed by actor Eyal Podell.
"I don't know about you, but I'm nervous"
―Yonatan to Roz during the wedding ceremony

Yonatan was a lifelong Hassidic Jew and until his marriage to Roz, a bachelor. Roz was a recent adherent to Hassidism, having been born Jewish but having lived a largely secular life until six months previously. They were matched by a matchmaker and met shortly before they were married. However, at the wedding celebration, Roz started bleeding and collapsed.

Yonatan was very worried about Roz despite only having met her a few weeks before. However, Gregory House thought that Roz's recent embrace of Hassidism was a symptom of her condition and ordered treatment based on that assumption. When Yonatan found out, he was furious and demanded that House be removed from the case. However, both Lisa Cuddy and House convinced him House was the right doctor for the situation.
Yonatan: "We'd like a different doctor"
Cuddy: "I assure you that Doctor House is our best..."
Yonatan: "Then we will settle for second-best, someone who doesn't think my wife is sick just because she's religious."
— Yonatan finds out House thinks that Roz's recent religious beliefs are a result of an illness
House: "But you follow the [commandments] you don't understand because the ones you do understand make sense, and you believe that the guy who created them knows what he's doing."
Yonatan: "Of course"
House: "So you will trust my diagnosis and you'll let me treat her, because in this temple, I am Dr. Yahweh."
— House attempts to trump Yonatan's belief system
Yonatan: "What if Dr. House was right? And Roz did make a radical change?"
Taub: "Lupus is chronic but treatable. "
Yonatan: "And with the treatment, it'd undo the change? She'll be the way she was before I knew her?"
— Yonatan worries House may be right
"Well, you should love her more. The more you know someone, the more you should love them"
―Yonatan explains his beliefs about love and companionship

However, as Roz grew worse, Yonatan started getting worried at Roz's insistence that she not be operated on until after the sabbath. Yonatan was aware that although surgery on the sabbath is frowned upon, the commandment to preserve life made it clear that it was allowed. He even had a rabbi speak to Roz about it. However, Roz was insistent. As a result, Yonatan agreed to a subterfuge to convince Roz the sun had set by blacking-out the hospital corridors.

Before the surgery, House realized Roz's problem was a hanging kidney and that she improved when she was lying down and the kidney returned to its normal position. Roz was given surgery to stop the bleeding and put the kidney back in place.

Purpose of the character Edit

In most episodes, a family character, whether it be a spouse, parent or child of the patient, is often there to act as a proxy between the patent and the rest of the characters. Yonatan is no exception here, acting as a go-between with the doctors on behalf of his wife.

Yonatan is also here to ensure that we have some empathy with the patient as, in most cases, House forms no real connection with the patient. Yonatan, and characters like him, also act as a proxy for the audience, who, unlike House, care not just about the diagnosis but the outcome for the patient.

In many episodes, one of the fellows will form some sort of connection to the patient but, to show a little realism and given the professional necessity to keep a distance, this can't happen in every episode so instead we start the patient with Yonatan as the character who cares about the patient outcome.

In addition, Yonatan stands as a proxy for his own particular type of Judaism. This is a common technique in storytelling to assign a character whose role it is to explain what is going on and to familiarize the audience with key background information that doesn't flow naturally from the story. In many cases, Yonatan is called upon to explain the philosophy underlying his beliefs.

Atheism v. Judaism Edit

However, Yonatan's main purpose here is to give House a sounding board with respect to his feelings about religion. At this point in the series, we still don't have enough background information to understand what led House to his particular rejection of religious beliefs (we get that in Season 5's Birthmarks). Moreover, this is not the first time that House has shown contempt for particular religious beliefs (see House vs. God).

But the dynamics between Yonatan and House here are somewhat overblown. Moreover, it's not like Yonatan is the only Jew depicted in the series - Wilson, Taub and Cuddy identify as Jewish as well. House's attitude towards Yonatan and Roz is not only dismissive, it reinforces stereotypes about Hassidic Jews.

It's also clear from elsewhere in the series that House is incredibly knowledgeable about Judaism. For example, when House mentions 600 commandments and Yonatan corrects him, House is either feigning ignorance (because we know he knows the exact number from previous episodes) or this is an inconsistent characterization.

Many reviewers pointed out that the character made errors and the writers weren't particularly knowledgeable. They chastised the episode for reinforcing negative stereotypes. However, critics overlooked that House was also portrayed in a very negative manner. Given that there are other atheists on the team who show a great deal more understanding and compassion, and that Roz is hardly stereotypical, this often looks like something personal between House and Yonatan.

And that is what is at the heart of the dispute between the two men - whether or not Roz's new found orthodoxy is independent of her disease or a symptom of it. House uncharacteristically jumps to a conclusion based on flimsy evidence and, unfortunately, it affects his thinking until the final diagnosis becomes obvious. Moreover, in the meantime, Yonatan does not question his own faith, but he secretly worries that if Roz is "cured" she may start to question her own.

However, like many orthodox characters before him (like the nuns in Damned If You Do), Yonatan is an intellectual match for House, something very few patients (including Roz) are able to manage.

Relationships Edit

  • Married to Roz

Video Edit

People Don't Change... - House M.D

People Don't Change... - House M.D.

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