BBC's upside-down Talmud
Talmud tales in The Tractate Middoth
The Talmud is probably the last book you’d expect to see on TV on Christmas Day.
But not only did a volume of the debates of the sages appear, it actually lent its name to BBC2’s adaptation of a ghost story by M.R.James, The Tractate Middoth.
The story hinges on a coded copy of a will secreted by a malevolent Christian priest in his Talmud.
As it reached its climax, a scholar inspecting the volume said that it was like no other Hebrew he had seen.
Which was hardly a surprise as the character seemed to be holding the book upside down.
But perhaps that could be the point of the story, as afficionados of supernatural literature might know.