Some 12,000 students participated in school and regional bible contests throughout the year, and 12 of the districts' representatives took part in Tuesday's finals. The four winners, including Avner Netanyahu, will represent Israel in the International Bible Contest on Independence Day.
The prime minister and his wife were among the proud parents who arrived to watch their children take part in the contest. The quiz's questions were all about Jerusalem – an issue Netanyahu has been pretty occupied with recently – including the siege on Jerusalem, the construction of the city in ancient times and the conduct of King Saul, King David, King Hezekiah and Prophet Jeremiah.
Receiving certificate from Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
The quiz, was divided into two rounds in which students of the state education competed against each other, followed by students from the state religious education. Four of the students reached the final stage: Avner Netanyahu of Jerusalem, Elad Nahshon of Rehovot, Or Asuel of Kfar Saba and Yehuda Rosenberg of Beit El.
Avner Netanyahu was eventually crowned Bible Quiz winner of the state education with 88 points. Or Asuel, the only girl to take part in the national contest, won the first place in the general competition with 104 points.
The four finalists will participate in the International Bible Contest for Jewish youth, which will take place in Jerusalem on Independence Day, along with young men and women from across the world. During the event, the contestants will be asked to answer the traditional question presented by the prime minister, who will arrive this time as Avner's father as well.
At the end of the ceremony, Prime Minister Netanyahu refused to respond to question on current affairs, but was glad to talk about his son's success. "Today I am here as a father," he said. "I am very excited and proud of Avner… I am also happy for my father-in-law, Shmuel Ben Artzi, who has been teaching Avner the Bible since the age of six, and for Avner's uncle, Hagi Ben Artzi. I myself knew only two of the answers he was asked about."
Avner's mother, Sara Netanyahu, said: "I am the daughter of a family of Bible Quiz winners, and now it’s not just my brothers. Now I also have a son who is a Bible Quiz winner and this gives me a sense of closure."
The young Netanyahu said he decided to compete not only for the sake of victory. "The real winner is the Bible," he concluded.