Prime Minister Benjmain Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett with bible quiz winner Sagiv Lugasi.
(photo credit: SHLOMI AMSALLEM)
Sagiv Lugasi from the Ort high school in Ma’alot-Tarshiha triumphed over 15 other competitors in the International Bible Quiz in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
The competition, in which highschool pupils are tested on their knowledge of the Bible, its books, characters and verses, focused this year on the topic of Jerusalem ahead of the celebrations marking the conquest of the city and the Temple Mount in 1967 during the Six Day War.
As is traditional, the prime minister, speaker of the Knesset, education minister and Jewish Agency chairman were all present during the quiz, with the prime minister challenging the finalists with a special series of questions.
A total of 16 pupils from nine countries, including Israel, the US, Canada, Belarus, South Africa, Panama, Brazil, Mexico and Belgium participated in the final at the Jerusalem Theatre, in which Lugasi emerged the winner.
The competitors were peppered with questions on every facet of the Bible, from the beginnings of the Israelite nation in the Five Books of Moses to the days of the judges in Israel, the deeds of the kings, the admonitions and visions of the prophets and the lyrical poetry and wisdom of the Psalms and megilot.
The questions challenged the competitors to recall the smallest details of the biblical accounts, asking them which figure judged the Israelite people between Beit El, Gilgal and Mizpah (the Prophet Samuel), who slew 300 men in battle in the service of King David (Avishai son of Zeruiah) and who prophesied that God would break down the gates of Damascus (the Prophet Amos), among many others.
Picking up on the theme of Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the opportunity to castigate UNESCO for approving a resolution disavowing Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.
“There is no people in the world for which Jerusalem is as holy and important as the Jewish people, despite which UNESCO is holding a hearing today to deny this simple truth.
“But we deny UNESCO, we uphold our truth, which is the truth.
Throughout Jewish history, Jerusalem was the heart of the people, the focal point to which everyone would ascend and would pray toward. Jerusalem is tied to the spiritual and political formation of the Jewish people, and the prophets of Israel saw it [Jerusalem] as a center for world peace and justice and a source of inspiration for truth and God’s knowledge.”
The prime minister congratulated the Lugasi on his achievement, noting that he studies at a secular school and not a religious one.
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