Or Asuel, 17, of Kfar Saba has won the 2010 International Bible Contest for Jewish youths. Asuel defeated 15 other contestants in the annual quiz held in Jerusalem on Tuesday, including Avner Netanyahu, the prime minister's son, who reached third place and was named second runner-up.
Asuel's father, Shimon, was the contest winner 27 years ago. Elad Nachshon won second place and was named first runner-up.
Netanyahu, who attracted immense media attention for his participation in the competition, reached the finals with 45 points from the early round. After answering two correct answers he finally stumbled on the third question – the Prime Minister's Question, which under the circumstances was written by main question writer Neria Pinchas.
Avner provided a partial answer, which prevented him from going on to the final head-to-head round.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the end of the competition, "I was very excited together with wife, for our son. It's only natural. And I was deeply impressed with Or and Elad's achievements, as well as those of the other contestants, who are all bible champions – each and every one."
Netanyahu and Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar announced the renewal of the Adults Bible Contest starting next Hanukkah, 30 years after the tradition was abandoned.
This year's contest, the 47th overall, was held under the theme of the revival of the Hebrew language. Contest director, Chief Education Officer Brigadier-General Eli Shermeister said that the bible was an inalienable asset for the Israel Defense Forces too.
"View Israel as your home, read about and learn of it," he told the contestants.
Chairman of the panel of judges and former President and Education Minister Yitzhak Navon said, "The Jewish people created the bible, but the bible also created the Jewish people. We wouldn't be who we are without it, not a people and probably not a religion."