- The first prize was won by a female high school student.
- The three top winners are all Israeli high school students.
- Two of the top three winners come from families with a tradition of winning the Bible Contest.
- Two of the top three winners are studying in non-religious high schools.
I challenge you to think a bit and guess which Israeli high school education framework is missing.
Nu, do you know? The key to guessing this correctly is to know what the three basic education frameworks are:
- non-religious high schools
- ulpanot, girls religious high schools
- boys religious yeshiva high schools, even if the school itself doesn't like to call itself by the secular term "high school"
One thing should be clear. Nobody interested in competing in the contest with a chance of winning can count on their high school to prepare them. It takes a lot of extra work and oodles of dedication. Each year the contest focuses on a different aspect of the Bible.
Also, the questions aren't simple test questions. One has to learn how to understand and answer what the question is actually asking. That's a skill in itself besides the material the teens must learn better than well.
Going back to the boys education. In most yeshivot and religious high schools TaNaCh, Bible is not a priority subject. In the yeshiva high school where I used to teach Bible was taught during the secular studies part of the day. It wasn't considered a religious subject. That always bothered me. The afternoon was so jam-packed with Math, English, History, Science, Grammar, Computers, Literature etc that the Holy Bible got lost in the shuffle. Bible should be a daily class in the middle of their morning G'morah study time in the Beit Medrash.
Our Bible is our history and the pledge by G-d giving us this Land. It belongs to all Jews, the Bible and the Land. I'm overjoyed that there are Israelis of all levels of Jewish observance enjoying the study of the Bible. I hope that Elad Nachshon's and Avner Netanyahu's successes in the contest will encourage their high shcool friends to study our Bible. It belongs to us all