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With Bitter Herbs They Shall Eat It

At Passover, Jewish people eat bitter herbs as a reminder of the bitterness of slavery. Mark Tully explores bitterness in all its forms – as a taste and as an emotion.

At Passover, Jewish people eat bitter herbs as a reminder of the bitterness of slavery. Mark Tully explores bitterness in all its forms – as a taste and as an emotion, as a commemoration and part of our shared history, and as a corrosive, all-consuming mental state.

What is the difference between bitterness and anger? And what is the antidote to bitterness?

Egyptian-Jewish food writer Claudia Roden explains the importance of bitterness in her life – and offers Mark a taste of some rather bitter herbs.

Readings include Pip’s encounter with Miss Havisham in Great Expectations, with music from Billie Holliday to George Frideric Handel.

Readers: Rachel Atkins and Paterson Joseph
Presenter: Mark Tully
Producer: Hannah Marshall
A 7digital production for BBC Radio 4

28 minutes

Last on

Sun 18 Nov 2018 23:30

Music Played

  • George Fredric Handel

    Israel In Egypt, HWV 54: The Children of Israel Sighed

    Performer: The Sixteen, Harry Christophers.
    • Israel In Egypt.
    • Coro 2005 / COR16011.
    • 2.
  • The Watersons

    The Bitter Withy

    • Sound, Sound Your Instruments of Joy.
    • Topic, 2016 TSCD564.
    • 6.
  • Billie Holiday

    All of Me (Take 3)

    • The Essential Billie Holiday.
    • Columbia 2010 / 88697 78667/2.
    • CD 2 T18.
  • Yehudi Wyner

    Passover Offering: IV. Grave

    Performer: Richard Stoltzman (clarinet), Carol Wincenc (flute), David Taylor (trombone), Ronald Thomas (cello).
    • Solo and Ensemble Music of Jewish Spirit Vol. 10 Album 4.
    • Milken 2011 / MAV1004.
    • 10.
  • Lennox Berkeley

    Ruth, Op. 50: Scene 1: Ah, call me not Naomi, let Mara be my name (Naomi)

    Performer: Joyful Company of Singers, city of London Sinfonia, Richard Hickox.
    • Lennox Berkeley: Ruth.
    • Chandos 2008 / CHAN10301.
    • 8.

Readings


Title: Three Poems - Bitterness Author: Helen BryantPublished by Poetry Magazine in July 1931

Title: ‘Great Expectations’Author: Charles DickensPublished by Penguin Classics 2004

Title:  The Bitterest PillAuthor: Nell FrizzellPublished by Vogue in January 2016

Reading from The King James Bible: Ephesians 4:26-32
Title: Account by Reverend H Stirling Gahan on the Execution of Edith CavellAuthor: Reverend H. Stirling GahanFound in Records of the Great War, Vol III, ed. Charles F. Horne, Published by National Alumni 1923

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