David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, understood that the thriving existence of the Jewish nation must be rooted on a love of the Bible and its values and goals as a people based on its 24 books. Accordingly, he instituted the International Bible Contest and made it a centrepiece of Israel’s Independence Day celebrations.
This year’s competition was particularly tense and for the first time ever, two winners were declared: 15-year-old Yishai Eisenberg of New Jersey and 16-year-old Elior Babiyan of Beit Shemesh. They displayed a dizzying level of knowledge; for example they were given the first part of the verse: “The king establishes the land by justice” and were instantly able to give the continuation, “but he who receives bribes overthrows it.”
As the Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron said, such “wonderful mastery... raises the expectation that these verses and chapters will turn into your road map.” And hopefully a guide and road map for the whole country.