The International Bible Contest for Youth, held on Israel's 74th Independence Day, ended with a tie: Dvir Chaim Mertzbach and Hillel Cohen, who had competed head-to-head, both passed the final round with an equal number of points.
Both winners are from Israel: Mertzbach studies in the Amit Yeshiva in Tzfat, while Cohen studies in the Hartman High School in Jerusalem. The young men ended the contest with 142 points each.
Towards the end, Hillel, who answered his final question first, asked the audience to give his opponent a bit of quiet to think.
In third and fourth place are Yitzhak Spivak of the USA, and Yaakov Weinstein of South Africa, respectively.
Following the conclusion of the contest, Ofer Hadad, who was asking the questions, called Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Israeli President Isaac Herzog to the stage to distribute the prizes.
Turning to Israel's youth, Bennett said, "Let's learn from our nation's heroes to take responsibility - to get up and act. If something is not the way it should be - act."
"Initiate, act, work, and never - ever - never give up. Turn our beloved State of Israel into an amazing country. Finalists, every single one of you did something, invested, learned, and again - and this is how you achieved your great achievement here. I am very proud of you."
Rabbi Yoram Rosenbaum, dean of the Amit High School Yeshiva in Tzfat, congratulated his student, saying, "Dvir, a son of the city of Tzfat, is a young Torah scholar, curious, diligent in Torah study, and above all, has a good heart and a desire to bring blessing and light to the world. He has brought great pride to the yeshiva and to the entire city of Tzfat. We are all happy that we have merited to learn with him and to learn from him in yeshiva."