Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron held a special reception for participants in the World Youth Bible Contest, which takes place on Tuesday, Yom Ha'atzma'ut (Israel Independence Day). Piron praised the youths for their commitment to Jewish life and education, calling them “cultural heroes.”
Speaking to the participants, all high school-age youths, Piron said that it had been a childhood dream of his to participate in the prestigious Contest. Piron said that he was “immensely jealous” of the youths, for the opportunity to participate that he never had. “It doesn't matter whether you win or not. You have the greatest treasure – the knowledge of the books of the Tanach, the Hebrew Bible. You know where you cam from and where you are going. The main thing is that the Bible should become your main guide in life,” he said.
Addressing the candidates from abroad, Piron said that he hoped their trip to Israel “will be life-changing, that you will tell your children that you participated in the Contest, and that you understood the need to be emissaries of the State of Israel and the Jewish People. You are all heroes of Jewish culture,” he added.
Piron distributed to each candidate a Book of Tehillim (Psalms) and a special certificate.