Ode to "The West Wing"

Publication Date: July 2009

Publisher: National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (U.S.)

Author(s): Andrew Silow-Carroll

Research Area: Culture and religion; Media, telecommunications, and information

Keywords: Jewish Text; Jewish Values; Television; Jewish Law (Halacha)

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


The author reflects on debates and criminal trials that occurred in episodes of "The West Wing," and "The Practice," in which Jewish law was used to assess a trial. The author asserts that Jewish law is not at all static when it comes to capital punishment, homosexuality, taxation, etc. The author then moves on to fill in the gap that many see between the Old Testament (written Torah) and the Talmud (oral Torah).