At the national Hebrew Bible Quiz, kids try to answer questions even rabbis don’t know. ‘Yeah,’ says one 12-year-old, ‘it’s nerdy.’
The energy from these kids comes through in your writing. Lovely.
It is so uplifting to read this in the midst of gender dysphoria, canonization of criminals, cancellation culture, etc. Kids like this ( and the boy who saved his little sister from a would-be abductor with his slingshot) give me hope that all is not lost.
These youth seem to have lots of passion about this! And it seems to be self driven, not parent driven! I'd much rather my child be having fun with something like this than spending hours on their phone trying to be an influence!
Gasp......getting ahead by studying and working hard and actually being tested with the winners being determined by objective results.
I had no idea a contest like this exists. A great piece, so cheerfully written. Thank you for this, Olivia.
“I learned that I could learn on my own,” she says, as a line of people gather waiting to congratulate her. “I learned that I have the potential to do so much more than I ever imagined.”
That’s it in a nutshell.
Thanks, Olivia, for bringing us such interesting stories that I may never have known about otherwise.
I am so surprised and pleased to see the Chidon HaTanach covered by TFP! A young man from our local day school was first runner-up a few years back, and we were all incredibly proud of him. How refreshing it is to read about these smart, serious young people who value their religious heritage so highly.
Look at these kids, and then compare Israel by any measure of human progress to any of its neighbours, indeed to any nation on this planet, and the reason is obvious. But an orthodontist becoming prime minister? Never again would the plague of National Health teeth afflict the Chosen! There will never be an Israeli Austin Powers!
Really great read. Thank you for revealing this gem.
As a long time Chidon HaTanach/Hebrew Bible Quiz participant (Canadian nationals and Israel internationals in the 90s and 2000s), it was amazing to wake up to this article! I can safely say, 20+ years on, that this experience has impacted my life in so many ways. Many of the friendships I formed on the competition are still alive and well today (and continue to be full of Bible conversation), and the lessons of working hard, the importance of fierce but friendly competition, and my deep knowledge and love for the Tanach/Bible are all skills and messages that Chidon has given me. Thank you Olivia for bringing back wonderful memories of my childhood!
If you understand even a little Hebrew, watch the international youth chidon from this past April 26 (I'm sure it's on youtube). Mainly in order to see kids of a very different type.
Yes, the two finalists this year were two Israeli girls. Except you feel that young women is a much more appropriate description than "girls." Both are 17. Both, under tremendous pressure - this is national television in Israel! - look serene, both young and mature. Their demeanor conveys poise, modesty (not just because of their dress), generosity (watch them embrace, when one edges out the other by two points to take first place). Tanakh is only one aspect of an entire lifestyle. At the same time you realize that both are extremely smart and extremely ambitious, or they wouldn't be here. This is surely not the only intellectual olympics they are engaged in. A model of human being one hopes one's children might develop into.
GREAT feature, TFP. Feels like I haven't been exposed to this kind of reporting in a long time.
This as such an enjoyable piece to read.
Great article. Glad to see some exceptional young people talked about for once, instead of the constant drone of complaining about lazy, spoiled, materialistic young teens living on a "smart" phone. Good show Olivia.
Good for them!! I used to involved in AWANAS which is heavy on Bible memorization. I am a strong advocate for TEACHING the Bible in public schools for historical and literary reasons
What a delightful story! Thank you! You go, kids! I’m on my third time through the Christian Bible (not hard when you’ve got a good Bible-in-a-year calendar). It is epic in every sense of the word.