According to Guinness World Records, the Bible – which is printed at a rate of about 80 million copies per year – is the best-selling book of all time. It is estimated that somewhere between 5-7 billion copies have been sold worldwide!

That number is mindboggling and astronomical, and attests to the fact that – on some level or another – the people of the world see the Word of G-d as something meaningful and worthwhile to read.

Quite ironically, however, studies have shown that the Bible is not only the most sold book of all time, it is also the most stolen book of all time!

Now that is crazy! How is that even possible? How can it be that the Bible – which consists of the Word of G-d and contains the very commandment of “Thou Shall Not Steal” – is the most commonly stolen book?

Based on these combined sets of data – namely, the fact that the Bible is the most sold book and the fact that the Bible is the most stolen book – perhaps we begin to see a darker truth as it relates to the people of the world at large. Yes, the Bible is the most sold book, as indicated by the exorbitant sold books’ statistics. However, the studies which tell us that it is also the most stolen book, reveal to us that the Bible is perhaps the least internalized book of all time!

Of course, so many people read it and go through its pages. But how many people allow its pages to go through them? How many people change, develop, and grow because of it? How many people realize the depth and profundity that is contained within the Word of G-d? How many people when they read “Thou Shall Not Steal” in the Bible feel that the Master of the Universe is literally speaking directly to them?

My friends, there are a lot of factors and reasons that make us – the Jewish people – different from everyone else. One of them is this point exactly, namely, that we are not meant to merely be readers and go through the Word of G-d, rather, we are meant to be listeners and allow the Word of G-d to go through us.

So integral is this idea that amidst the grand description of the miraculous and epic events of the Revelation at Har Sinai, the Torah pauses and discusses Mishpatim, beginning with the laws of slaves. Rashi (21:6), to explain why the slave gets his ears pierced in particular, quotes the teaching of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai, who says: “This ear that heard at Mount Sinai, ‘Thou Shall Not Steal,’ and nonetheless he went and stole (which is why he was sold as a slave), let it be bored.”

The slave – like so many throughout history – may have purchased and even read the “Bible.” But that’s not what it is about. It’s not enough to purchase it and read it; we are meant to internalize it and let the Word of G-d go through us, creating a real-life impact and change in our character.

Have a holy Shabbos!