Exclusive interview
Bible Contest winner celebrates with Arutz Sheva

Elkana Friedman speaks of his excitement taking home the prize on 'the day of Israel's revival,' but reveals winning wasn't the goal.

Hezki Baruch ,

Elkana Friedman
Elkana Friedman
Hezki Baruch

Elkana Friedman won the annual International Youth Bible Contest held on Thursday in honor of Independence Day, and after being crowned winner he took the time to tell Arutz Sheva about his experience.

The 14-year-old student at the Bnei Tzvi Yeshiva in Beit El, in Samaria's Binyamin district, is the son of Rabbi Aharon Friedman who teaches at the Kerem BeYavne Yeshiva, and his mother teaches at Ulpanat HaRav Baharan.

The win is an early birthday present, as he turns 15 on Friday.

"I was really happy to be the winner on Independence Day - the day of the revival of the state of Israel," Friedman told Arutz Sheva.

He said that his study of the Tanakh (Torah, Prophets and Writings) began at a young age.

"Already in Talmud Torah (religious elementary school) we studied Tanakh from first grade up to eighth grade - four hours a day of expertise. In addition, I also studied by myself in my free time and at home."

Friedman revealed that he has already pored over the majority of the Tanakh thirty to forty times, in an ongoing cycle of study.

While he is happy to have won the quiz, it wasn't the impetus for his study.

"I didn't have a definite goal to be the Bible (Contest) winner. It's nice to be the winner, but that isn't the goal."

Speaking of his experience at the Bible Contest, he said, "I was moved to meet the Prime Minister and the Education Minister. They told me congratulations and good luck."

The Youth Bible Contest winner receives a study scholarship of 30,000 shekels (just under $8,000), and automatically gets a grade of 100 on his high school matriculation exam for the subject of Tanakh.

When asked how to reach his level of proficiency in the Bible, Friedman said the only way is "to study."

"When you read the Tanakh pay attention to the details, don't just go over the words. And the most important - repeat and review again and again," concluded Friedman.



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