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Canadian teen wins International Bible Quiz in Israel for the first time

By Mason White 4:18 PM May 6, 2014
Eitan Amos (left) 

By: Anav Silverman
(Scroll down for video) For the first time, a Canadian teen won the International Bible Quiz, the Tazpit News Agency reported.

Eitan Amos of Toronto, Canada, won this year’s International Bible Quiz. The 18-year-old, who lived in Karnei Shomron, Israel, until he was 11 years old, competed against 15 other finalists during this year’s International Bible Quiz traditionally held on Israel’s Independence Day.

Seventy-five contestants from 33 countries including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Belgium, France, Costa Rica, Turkey, Portugal, and the United States, competed in last week’s round. Amos, who studies at Toronto’s Yeshivat Or Chaim, was one of the 16 finalists to make it to the final competition.

It was the first time according to the competition’s moderator, legendary Hebrew linguist, Dr. Avshalom Kor, that a Canadian had won the competition. Tefila Berenson of Rehovot, came in second place.

Israelis Itamar Khalifa, Tamar Genali and Nir Kotzer captured third, fourth and fifth place respectively. The competitors showed their impressive knowledge of the Tanach, answering difficult questions posed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a panel of judges.

During the awards presentation, Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke of the Bible’s significance. “The Tanach has eternal significance for generations around the world, but particularly for our nation. It is our nation’s book, our national story,” said the prime minister.

“We are the people of the Book, we live in the land of the Book and this Book has sculpted our identity for thousands of years,” Netanyahu added. Netanyahu also recalled how he spends every Shabbat studying the weekly Torah portion with his son.

The prime minister’s youngest son, Avner, won third place in the International Bible Quiz in 2010. The first youth International Bible Quiz was held in Jerusalem in 1963. Abba Eban was a long-time Chief Judge in the competition as was Dr. Yosef Burg.

The competition was originally instituted for adults by Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion.