BBC's upside-down Talmud

January 5, 2014
Talmud tales in The Tractate Middoth

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.

Last updated: 3:45pm, January 5 2014