Itzhak Bentov

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Itzhak "Ben" Bentov
Born Itzhak Emery Bentov
August 9, 1923
Humenné, Czechoslovakia
Died May 25, 1979(1979-05-25) (aged 55)
Chicago, Illinois
Cause of death Killed in crash of American Airlines Flight 191
Nationality American, Israeli
Occupation scientist, inventor, author
Religion Judaism
Children Sharona Ben-Tov Muir

Itzhak "Ben" Bentov (also Ben-Tov) (Hebrew: יצחק בנטוב‎) (August 9, 1923 – May 25, 1979) was a Czech-born Israeli American scientist, inventor, mystic and author. His many inventions, including the steerable cardiac catheter, helped pioneer the biomedical engineering industry.[1] He was also an early exponent of what has come to be referred to as consciousness studies and authored several books on the subject.

Early life[edit]

Bentov was born in Humenné, Czechoslovakia, in 1923. During World War II, his parents were killed in Nazi concentration camps.[2]

He narrowly escaped being sent to the camps and moved to British Palestine, first living on the Shoval kibbutz in the Negev.[3]

Despite not having a university degree,[3] Bentov joined the Israeli Science Corps, which David Ben-Gurion incorporated into the Israeli Defense Forces one month before Israel declared statehood in 1948. The Science Corps became a military branch known by the Hebrew acronym HEMED. Bentov designed Israel's first rocket for the War of Independence. HEMED was forced to make improvised weapons as there was a worldwide embargo on selling weapons to the Jewish state.[3]

Bentov immigrated to the United States in 1954,[4] and settled in Massachusetts. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1962.[5]


Bentov began with a workshop in the basement of a Catholic church in Belmont, Massachusetts in the 1960s.[1] In 1967, he built the steerable heart catheter and attracted the attention of businessman John Abele, with whom Bentov founded the Medi-Tech corporation in 1969.[6]

Abele later recalled of Bentov's workshop,

In 1979, Abele and Peter Nicholas looked to grow the successful business and established Boston Scientific as a holding company to purchase Medi-Tech.[7]

Bentov was the holder of numerous patents. In addition to the steerable cardiac catheter, his inventions ranged included diet spaghetti, automobile brake shoes, EKG electrodes and pacemaker leads.[2]



Bentov was extremely fascinated by consciousness, in particular how it related to physiology. In his 1977 book, Stalking the Wild Pendulum: On the Mechanics of Consciousness, he wrote that "consciousness permeates everything."

Bentov's invention was a seismographic device to record the heartbeat, in particular the aorta's reverberations. Marc Seifer described the results: "During normal breathing, the reverberations in the aorta arc out of phase with the heartbeat and the system is inharmonious. However, during meditation and when the breath is held, the echo off the bifurcation of the aorta (where the aorta forks at the pelvis to go into each leg) is in resonance with the heartbeat and the system becomes synchronized, thus utilizing a minimum amount of energy. This resonant beat is approximately seven cycles per second, which corresponds not only to the alpha rhythm of the brain bur also to the low-level magnetic pulsations of the Earth."[8]

Bentov's studies on consciousness have been widely cited. His findings resulted in a “scientifically verifiable version of the kundalini concept.”[9]

Death and legacy[edit]

Bentov was killed on May 25, 1979, as a passenger aboard American Airlines Flight 191 that crashed at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.[10] Moments after takeoff, an engine detached from the plane and tore off part of the wing, sending the plane down. The crash killed all 271 passengers and crew on board and two people on the ground. It is the deadliest single plane crash on U.S. soil to date.

Bentov's daughter, English professor Sharona Ben-Tov Muir, wrote a memoir about her father, The Book of Telling: Tracing the Secrets of My Father’s Lives in 2005. It was not until after his death that she learned about his life in the Israeli Defense Forces and that he had created Israel's first rocket. Searching for answers as to why he never discussed this part of his life, Muir traveled to Israel and researched his years there.[3]

Published works[edit]

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Medical devices and disruptive technology: Boston Scientific". MaRS Discovery District. February 8, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b David Monagan; David O. Williams, MD. Journey into the Heart: A Tale of Pioneering Doctors and Their Race to Transform Cardiovascular Medicine Hardcover. New York: Penguin Group. p. 106. ISBN 978-1592402656. Retrieved January 17, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d Barbara Hollander (December 12, 2005). "A 'someone' to love". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved January 17, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Spiritual Frontiers Hears Itzhak Bentov". The Hour. October 22, 1977. Retrieved January 17, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Index to Petitions and Records of Naturalizations of the U.S. and District Courts for the District of Massachusetts, 1907-1966". M1545. National Archives and Records Administration. 
  6. ^ a b c "Boston Scientific’s beginning, through John Abele’s eyes". MedCity News. June 9, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2015. 
  7. ^ "About Us: History". Boston Scientific. Retrieved January 17, 2015. 
  8. ^ Marc Seifer Ph.D. (2008). Transcending the Speed of Light: Consciousness, Quantum Physics, and the Fifth Dimension. Inner Traditions – Bear & Company. p. 49. ISBN 1594772290. 
  9. ^ Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa (2009). Kundalini Rising: Exploring the Energy of Awakening. Sounds True. p. 247. ISBN 978-1591797289. 
  10. ^ "Jumbo Jet Crashes On Take Off". The Sunday Herald. UPI. May 27, 1979.