Sorry, this episode is not currently available

In the Beginning

The Story of the Jews 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.

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Tue 8 Oct 2013 00:50

More episodes


You are at the first episode

See all episodes from The Story of the Jews


Role Contributor
PresenterSimon Schama
Executive ProducerNicholas Kent
DirectorTim Kirby
Series ProducerTim Kirby

Buy online

Buy online

Available on: DVD or Video download

From suppliers including: iTunes

Where to buy