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The Story of the Jews: In the Beginning

   2013    History
With optional Hebrew subtitles. Simon Schama explores the history of the Jewish experience from ancient times to the present day. This programme begins the tale 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". 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.
Series: The Story of the Jews

Did God Have a Wife

   2011    Culture
Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou asks whether the ancient Israelites believed in one God as the Bible claims. She puts the Bible text under the microscope, examining what the original Hebrew said, and explores archaeological sites in Syria and the Sinai which are shedding new light on the beliefs of the people of the Bible. Was the God of Abraham unique? Were the ancient Israelites polytheists? And is it all possible that God had another half?
Series: Bible's Buried Secrets

The Queen of Sheba

   2005    History
The Queen of Sheba - an exotic and mysterious woman of power - is immortalised in the world's great religious works, among them the Hebrew Bible and the Muslim Koran. She also appears in Turkish and Persian painting, in Kabbalistic treatises, and in medieval Christian mystical works, where she is viewed as the embodiment of Divine Wisdom and a foreteller of the cult of the Holy Cross. In Africa and Arabia her tale is still told to this day and, indeed, her tale has been told and retold in many lands for nearly 3,000 years.
Series: Myths and Heroes

Among Believers

   2013    History
With optional Hebrew subtitles. The story of medieval Jews struggling to preserve their identity--and sometimes their lives--under the rule of Christianity and Islam. Whether labelled 'Christ-killers' by the Christians or 'dhimmi' (non-Muslim citizens of an Islamic community) by the Muslims, diaspora Jews built new lives and invented new ways of being Jewish in exile in the face of discrimination, blood-libels and persecution interspersed with periods of tolerance, protection and peaceful co-existence. Drawing on some of the documents they left behind, this episode offers a vivid portrait of Jewish bankers, merchants, doctors, poets and artists flourishing in Lincoln, Cordoba, Venice and Cairo and tells the story of their mass expulsion from Spain in 1492.
Series: The Story of the Jews

Return

   2013    History
With optional Hebrew subtitles. Simon Schama's history of the Jewish experience ends with an examination of how the Holocaust and the creation of Israel have fundamentally changed what it means to be Jewish. Mixing personal recollection with epic history, Simon tells the story of the remarkable personalities and unprecedented events which turned the Zionist dream of creating a modern state of Israel into reality - and the consequences for the world. With contributions from writer David Grossman, photographer Micha Bar-Am, kibbutz founder Freddie Kahan, West Bank settler Zvi Cooper and Palestinian villager Yacoub Odeh. This film explores the tension between the high ideals and dire necessities that led to the creation of a Jewish homeland and the realities of conflict, dispossession and occupation that have followed in its wake.
Series: The Story of the Jews
Hiroshima
Hiroshima

   2005    History
The Life of Birds
The Life of Birds

   1998    Nature
The Story of Maths
The Story of Maths

   2008    Science
Apocalypse: World War 1
Apocalypse: World War 1

   2014    History
The Life of Mammals
The Life of Mammals

   2002    Nature
Nova Wonders
Nova Wonders

   2018    Science
How Art Made the World
How Art Made the World

   2006    Art
Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places
Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places

   2016    Science