Sistine Chapel Virtual Tour From a Jewish Point of View

The Sistine Chapel is one of the Vatican’s proudest features. The chapel is famous for its amazing collection of Renaissance art, painted by some of the world’s most famous artists. What grabs people’s attention is that the frescoes completely cover the walls and the ceiling. Also, Popes are elected here, and the history of the world has been changed by the casting of ballots, making it one of the most famous places in the world.

Sistine Chapel

A visit to the Sistine Chapel from a Jewish perspective is different from a Christian view. Jewish interpretations immediately reveal the stories from the Torah.

Sistine Chapel from a Jewish Point of View

In the Sistine Chapel, the Torah is visual to Jewish visitors. American scholar Andrea Beth Stoler has been conducting Judeo-Christian-themed tours for over a decade. With her scientific background and sense of humor, she will be observing, explaining, and passing on this ancient wisdom through her new Vatican Museum and Basilica virtual tours.

Jewish visitors will immediately notice the presence of the story of Moses and Hebrew prophets. In addition, the story of Judith, who beheaded the pagan enemy general Holofernes and the story of David who beheaded Goliath (Samuel I:17) can be seen. Interestingly, the story of Esther and Haman (both in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles), read every year by the Jews on the holiday of Purim can also be seen in the Pope’s private chapel.

One thing for sure is that you will see aspects of Torah, Midrash, and Kabala in the chapel. To really see the Torah is not about a fleeting or casual glance; it is a long, loving look that changes us spiritually.

Andrea Beth Stoler
Andrea Beth Stoler

Andrea, who lives full time in Rome is an accredited tour guide in the Vatican Museums, making her the only Jewish American Woman who regularly takes visitors from all backgrounds through its artistic treasures. She has launched a new Virtual Tour called “A Virtual Tour of the Sistine Chapel from a Jewish Point of View” guiding you to a more profound encounter of the Torah and hidden messages by Michelangelo and his relationship with Judaism.

About the Writer, Brenda Lee Bohen

Brenda is a Latina and a proud Veteran of the United States Army Reserves. She holds dual citizenship in both the United States and Italy. She is a trained historic preservationist who tirelessly advocates the scholarship and history of the Jews of Rome. She has her certification in Jewish leadership and continues advanced studies at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. Brenda is also a licensed and accredited tour guide at the Jewish Museum of Rome and the Vatican Museums.

Read more blogs from Brenda: Jewish Rome, 3 Literary Treasures of The Jewish Museum of Rome