Two minutes into an interview, Israeli author and public speaker Eran Katz asks a person to write a random 20-digit number on a soft-board and has the number read to him once. Then, eyes closed, he recites it flawlessly, forwards and backwards.
“I am no genius,” said Katz, 45, a memory expert known internationally for his talks and books on memorisation techniques.
“No one is born with superior memory. It comes with practice. My mission is to help people remember better.”
The Jerusalem resident, who is in the city this week to give a series of talks to corporates and a school, holds the Guinness World Record for memorising a 500-digit number forwards and backwards.
Katz’s number trick involves substituting numbers with letter codes.
It is based on a memorisation technique called ‘gimatria’, one of the several ancient Jewish techniques that he is trying to revive and popularise.
“The written history of the Jews was in danger of being destroyed by enemies, so they developed an oral history by building a good collective memory,” said Katz, whose books include ‘Jerome becomes a Genius – The Jewish way to Brain Power’ and ‘Secrets of a Super Memory’.
Katz visit coincided with an anti-Israel protest by human rights groups, on Monday, outside the Israel consulate, reiterated the need for cooperation to handle the Israel-Palestine conflict. “Every Israeli wants peace,” he said.