Thursday, November 29, 2007

BBC History Magazine (Dec 2007)

In advance of publishing the December issue of BBC History Magazine, the podcast reveals a couple of the subjects that will be in it:

How to capture a castle
From blowing them up to simply asking politely, Julian Humphrys presents 10 methods for seizing a stronghold. The podcast features an interview with Julian Humphrys. It turns out that asking for surrender was in many ways more effective than destroying the bastions.

How the Allies beat Japan
Max Hastings talks to Rob Attar about the dramatic, bloody end of the Second World War and its enduring legacy in Asia. The podcast also features an interview with Rob Attar. There is a lot of emphasis on the Australian side of the war.

Next in the podcast (and in the magazine?): We follow Jim Leary into the earliest history of Britain. Neolithic remains in Silbury Hill.

When Judah recognized Tamar

Once the Torah begins telling about Jacob's sons, the bulk of the stories is about the sibling rivalry towards Joseph. Joseph gets the striped garment. Joseph has the megalomaniac dreams. Eventually the brothers have had enough of it and decide to take it out on him. They throw him in a pit and then sell him into slavery.

Before we continue onwards to Egypt with Joseph a story about Judah is interjected. KMTT's podcast about Parshat Vayeshev delves into the question what this story does here. Judah meets Tamar, gets her pregnant, wants to kill her, but then she makes him turn around and recognize her. Eventually she gives birth to Paretz the forefather of King David. Only them we will return to Joseph and follow his adventures as a slave in Egypt.

To make a long explanation short, the moment Judah recognizes Tamar is a major turn around for Judah. Before he was as rough as his brothers and this we can see in his treatment of Joseph, but as Tamar manages to get him into recognizing her, he says: You are more righteous than me. As of this moment we can see him develop as the leader, the king among his people. I always supposed why Judah turned into the most important brother and not Joseph - surely there is much more to be said about that.