In many synagogues, the income from the sale of Torah Aliyahs on major holidays helps substantially in paying shul expenses for the rest of the year. Which is why the following report in Kikar Hashabbat, citing tweets by two Haredi journalists about an Aliyahs sale that took place on Yom Kippur at the Chachmey Yerushalayim yeshiva in Beit Shemesh is both surprising and heart warming.
When the Torah scrolls had been taken out and the bidding had started, one alumnus bid $30,000 on one of the more prestigious Aliyahs – at which point there was a counter bid from one of the yeshiva students who offered to study 1,400 pages of the Talmud in the 5778 year.
Obviously, since the bidding war was waged using different weapons, the yeshiva dean, Rabbi Shneur Potash, was asked to rule which offer would be accepted – and he ruled in favor of the student, in the spirit of Psalms 119:72: “I prefer the Torah of Your mouth over thousands in gold and silver.”
That’s $30,000 in gold and silver, to be exact. Our rough estimate suggests the study bid came to $21.42 per page, and we believe that at these rates we could persuade millions of Jews to study the Talmud. We also request humbly to be invited to the quiz.