The First Bible (Tanach) Contest for Adults is getting off the ground in Israel and contestants who have made it to the second stage gathered in Jerusalem recently. They included the winner of a television contest and an Israeli Arab. Israel National NewsTV met the contestants who gathered at the Herzog College in Gush Etzion.
The contest is separate from the annual government-sponsored quiz for youth, who reach the final round on Independence Day.
Moshe Abu-Aziz, who won the highest prize (one million shekels, or $255,000) on the "One vs 1-Hundred" game show explained the difference between the TV show and the Tanach Contest "In the contest on TV, I was on my own, but the people here are all united, and it is worth the hours of traveling to get here. We study together, ask each other hard questions, and it’s fun."
Most of the contestants are from observant background, some are not, but one is undoubtedly קxceptional - Shadi Abu-Ar'ar is a Bedouin from Southern Israel and he told INN TV that his students and family are very supportive, but others in the village call him a heretic. "The Bible has been important to me since my childhood" explains Shadi. I feel that I know now why the Jewish people are so strong. It is because they study the Bible."
Education Ministry Representative, Shlomo Ventura says that the organizers were surprised by the wide variety of contestants: "We have lawyers, judges, mechanics, chemists, teachers and people from almost every profession."
Rabbi Yaakov Meidan, head of the Har Etzion Yeshiva that hosted the gathering, said: "One of the past winners said that vocational schools teach you how to earn a living, but the Bible teaches you to be a decent human being."