The $9.3 million Talmud - Daniel Bomberg's 16th-century printing sold at Sotheby's New York

The video shows the Bomberg Talmud sold for a bid of $8.1 million. All reports list it as sold at $9.3 million. I suppose there was a 15% commission added on.

The Examiner has a detailed report on the auction.

Art Daily has a version of the story:

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby's set a new world auction record for any piece of Judaica today in New York, when one of the finest copies of Daniel Bomberg's Babylonian Talmud sold for $9.3 million (estimate $5/7 million).* The extraordinary volume was purchased by Stephan Loewentheil for the 19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop. The Bomberg Talmud led the sale of a selection of extraordinary items from The Valmadonna Trust, which totaled $14.9 million and became the most valuable auction of Judaica ever held.** Together with the auctions of Important Judaica and Israeli & International Art, Sotheby's annual December sales of Judaica and Israeli Art totaled $22.6 million. 

The Talmud, or "Oral Law," is a compendium of hundreds of years of rabbinical discussion and debate which expound upon the laws of the Bible. Daniel Bomberg is responsible for the first complete edition of the Babylonian Talmud (1519-1523), universally recognized not simply as one of the most significant books in the history of Hebrew printing, but as one of the great books of the Western world. The record setting Talmud sold today is one of the finest copies of Bomberg's edition – of which only 14 complete 16th century sets survive. 


My Dear Rabbi Zahavy Column in the Jewish Standard for December 2015 - Hanukkah Candles Candor and Single Sexagenerian Sex

Dear Rabbi Zahavy,

Chanukah is upon us, and for eight nights I feel I will be lying when I recite the blessing “…asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hadlik nayr shel Chanukah” — “Who sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.” We all know that God commanded no such ritual. The concept that Chanukah candles are a commandment was instituted by the rabbis. I’ve grown up hearing the unsatisfying explanation “Of course God didn’t command this, but it’s just as though He did since He did command us ‘And you shall do according to the word which they (the rabbis) shall tell you.’ (Deuteronomy 17:10).”