sunday evening 9.00-10.00pm, on bbc 2: The Story of the Jews: In the Beginning (episode 1 of 5)
“The story of the Jewish experience begins 3,000 years ago with the emergence of a tribal people in a contested land and their extraordinary book, the Hebrew Bible, a chronicle of their stormy relationship with a faceless, formless, jealous God.
It was loyalty to this ‘God of Words’ that defined the distinct identity of the ancient Jews and preserved it despite all that history could throw their way – war, invasion, deportation, enslavement, exile and assimilation.
The story unfolds with a dazzling cast of historical characters: Sigmund Freud dying in exile in London; Victorian evangelicals and explorers following ‘in the footsteps’ of Moses; Jewish mercenaries living, prospering and intermarrying in the pagan land of Egypt; Messianic Jews dreaming of the Apocalypse; and a Jewish historian, Josephus, who witnessed first-hand the moment when the apocalypse finally came and the Romans destroyed the Jewish High Temple in Jerusalem.”
(if you miss it, available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0398rkj/The_Story_of_the_Jews_In_t…)
repeated monday night, 11.50pm-12.50