As we neared the completion of The Moses Scroll, I began to plan for the public release of the book. As I put it in my preface, “following Tabor’s advice, on 14 January 2021 I made the official announcement about the book. The date seemed appropriate to us since the corresponding date on the Jewish calendar was the first day of the eleventh month – the day on which Moses delivered the words of his scroll to the children of Israel (Deut 1:3). The book’s release date of 8 March 2021 was also purposely chosen. Moses Shapira died on 8 March 1884, and as far as we know, the last public sighting of his scroll was 8 March 1889. It seemed apropos to share the scroll anew with the world on that same fateful day.”
The public announcement of the book went well. In that announcement I provided a link to the official website of The Moses Scroll where those interested in the book could sign up for notifications and updates. Hundreds signed up on the website within a few days.
I received the final version of the book from my editors (Don and Carol Walls) on 24 February 2021 and uploaded the manuscript that same day to Amazon. I had worked on the book for more than one year and finally had an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. Soon, The Moses Scroll would be available worldwide and this pleased me greatly. I picked up my Jewish calendar to make a note since this was a significant date for me. To say that I was surprised falls short of expressing what I immediately noticed. The date on the Jewish calendar for 24 February 2021 was 12 Adar, which happens to correspond with 8 March 1884! In 1884, 8 March was 12 Adar and so in a strange and unexpected way the book was uploaded in its final form on the same date that Moses Wilhelm Shapira had died 137 years before.
Many would likely dismiss this as mere coincidence, but I felt that it was providential. In my book I related that the Torah reading the week of Shapira’s death was Ki Thissa (Exod 30:11-34:35), which ends with Moses in possession of a second set of stone tablets containing the words of the covenant. Moses Shapira also had presented to the world a second set of those words. It just all seemed uncanny that all of these “coincidences” converged with the release of my book.