Shavuot (2023)

Chag Sameach!

This Shavuot we celebrate the 3335th anniversary of the giving of the Torah!

A new record was broken last week. The most valuable book ever sold at auction, was sold for $38.1 million USD ($57.5 million in AUD).

The record-breaking price surpassed the 1994 sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Codex Leicester manuscript”, which sold for $30.8 million.

What kind of book do you think this?
Well, it’s your book, the Torah!

It is a Torah manuscript that is believed to date back to the late 9th or early 10th century. It is called the “Codex Sassoon” which contains all 24 books of the Tanach (Hebrew Bible).

Sharon Liberman Mintz, a Judaica expert and senior consultant at the auction house, shared the following message.
“Today’s record-breaking result directly reflects the profound power, influence, and significance of the Hebrew Bible, which is an indispensable pillar of humanity.”

This extraordinary gift, namely the Torah, was given on the lowest of all mountains in its region. This is to teach us the importance of humility.
But then why is it given on a mountain altogether? Perhaps a valley would really emphasize this point well?

The answer is, like everything in life, there needs to be a balance.
We need humility, but we also need a deep sense of pride.
The Torah was given on a low mountain (humility) but it was still given on a mountain (pride).

When we keep this balance of humility, and pride in who we are and what we represent, we can be sure we will fulfil our destiny to be a “Light onto the nations”.

Chag Sameach, Rabbi Zalman, Esty and Family