(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) In keeping with tradition, the
annual international Bible Contest was held on Tuesday in Jerusalem. Fifty-eight
young people from 26 countries took part in all stages of the international
contest, including Turkey, the United States, Brazil, South Africa and Germany.
But this time, there was a surprise, with two winners instead of one: Yishai
Eisenberg, 15, an American Jew, and Elior Babian, 16, from Beit Shemesh.
Yishai Eisenberg hails from
Passaic, New Jersey and is a student of Yeshivat Beit Hillel of Passaic-Hillel.
Elior Babian, the son of an underprivileged family, succeeded against the odds.
He attends the Shaalei Torah yeshiva high school in Beit Shemesh.
In the final head-to-head battle,
both contestants answered all questions correctly, repeatedly completing verses
from the Bible. Eisenberg was asked to complete the verse: “The king
establishes the land by justice,” “But he who receives bribes
overthrows it,” Eisenberg chirped in, completing the Biblical verse. Babian
was asked to complete another proverb, “Where there is no revelation, the
people cast off restraint.” “But happy is he who keeps the law,”
When the increasingly difficult
questions failed to trip up either contestant, the panel of judges at first
called for a three-question tie-breaker. But ultimately, the panel of judges
decided that both had displayed such extraordinary knowledge that Knesset
Speaker Yuli Edelstein had no choice but to crown them both laureates. Second
place was taken by Liora Braverman of Petach Tikva.
“Our amazement at the
wonderful mastery of Bible verses plants a great hope in each of our
hearts,” said Education Minister Rabbi Shai Peron. “It raises the
expectation that these verses and chapters will turn into your road map,”