There’s a wonderful podcast you can listen to (for free!) called Stuff You Missed in History Class. Each episode is short (typically under 25 minutes) and gives you a closer look at all kinds of things you either never heard of before, or just barely knew existed. I’ve learned about the shoot out at the OK Corral, Bluebeard, the Taj Mahal, Bonnie and Clyde, and lots of other cool and interesting moments and figures in history.
I mention this because they recently did a show on the Bar Kokhba revolt, a hugely important and interesting moment in Jewish history. I’ve always been pretty vague on my ancient Jewish history, and the Bar Kokhba revolt especially has befuddled me, so it was helpful and nice to have such a clear summary of the events. I highly recommend it. (To find the podcast, go to the Podcasts tab in iTunes. Stuff You Missed in History Class is almost always in the list of most popular podcasts, but you can also search for it. The blog that accompanies the podcast is found here.) In the episode about Bar Kokhba the two hostesses mentioned that they’d like to do more episodes about Jewish history, but aren’t sure what topics to cover. Does anyone out there have any ideas?
Here are some off the top of my head:
The Ramban debating with Paulus Christians in Barcelona in the 13th century
I think Rashi would be a good topic, but maybe too big for 20 minutes
The bird head haggadah
The story of the Burma Road in Jerusalem