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Rabbi Benjamin Blech

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Rabbi Benjamin Blech, a Maggid-shiur at Yeshiva University, is an internationally recognized educator, religious leader, author and lecturer. He has written 12 highly acclaimed and best-selling books, with combined sales of close to half a million copies, including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Judaism and Understanding Judaism: The Basics of Deed and Creed, which was chosen by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations as the single best book on Judaism in our generation.

Together with an accompanying six-hour video, filmed by the producers of 20/20 and featuring Rabbi Blech, Understanding Judaism: The Basics of Deed and Creed is used in study groups in numerous synagogues and universities around the country. His book Taking Stock: A Spiritual Guide to Rising Above Life’s Financial Ups and Downs was featured in a full-page article in the New York Times and his If God is Good, Why Is The World So Bad? has been translated into Indonesian, where it has had a powerful reception in the wake of the country’s tsunami.

Rabbi Blech’s most recent book is The Sistine Chapel: Michelangelo’s Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican. Coinciding with the 500th anniversary of Michelangelo’s starting work on the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, this groundbreaking book is already the subject of huge interest, discussion and controversy. Translated into 15 languages, available in 25 countries, a first printing of 100,000 copies by HarperOne, movie and TV rights presently in negotiation with three major film companies and with national TV coverage, this major work proves that Michelangelo incorporated many teachings of Jewish Midrash and Kabbalah into the Sistine Chapel.

As a result of a personal meeting with the late Pope John Paul II, Rabbi Blech was instrumental in securing the loan of Jewish manuscripts for exhibition in Israel and he is involved in further negotiations for the return of precious Judaica held by the Vatican that may prove to be of historic significance.

Rabbi Blech, a 10th generation rabbi, is rabbi emeritus of the Young Israel of Oceanside, which he served for 37 years. He is a frequent lecturer in Jewish communities around the world – from New Zealand to Tokyo to South Africa, and has given countless shiurim across the United States. He has appeared on national television (including The Oprah Winfrey Show), hosted a popular weekly radio program in New York and has written for Newsweek, The New York Times and Newsday, in addition to a wide and varied number of scholarly publications. He was recently ranked #16 in a listing of the 50 most influential Jews in America.

Rabbi Blech served as president of the National Council of Young Israel Rabbis and of the International Council for the Repatriation of Russian Jewry.

Rabbi Blech has been a Maggid Shiur at Yeshiva since 1966, and has received the American Educator of the Year award. Rabbi Blech is known for his warm and caring style, as well as his profound insight. His lectures on tape have an international following and are among the most popular from among the thousands made available on the internet through Aish Hatorah.

Sample Titles

  • The Holy Jewish Treasures in the Vatican: A Miracle on a Mission to Rome
  • Michelangelo, the Sistine Chapel and the Jewish Secrets

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