Monday, January 23, 2023

Podcast on Babatha

JEWISH UNPACKED: Listen: Babatha: The Jewish mom of ancient times.
Yael: So, who is she? I’ve never heard of her.

Schwab: You have not heard of her. And she’s not very well-known. We’re gonna talk about Babatha and her story, but part of what’s really interesting is, she’s kind of thoroughly unremarkable in a lot of ways. In contrast to a lot of the characters we’ve talked about, Josephus, Sabbatai Zevi, Dona Gracia Nasi, Saul of Tarsus, Babatha did not have a huge impact on Jewish history. She’s not a major protagonist. She didn’t lead a movement. She didn’t have followers. And the truth is, we only talk about her and know about her because of what her documents tell us about history.

Yael: We’re actually getting a sense of what a regular person’s life was like.

I have not heard of Schwab and Yael before, but this podcast is meticulously researched and also entertaining.

Babatha left us a substantial archive of her personal papers during the Bar Kokhba revolt. For more on her and on the Cave of Letters, where her documents were found, see the links collected here

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