Avner Netanyahu, 15, wins National Bible Quiz

Photo by: Channel 23

Son of prime minister and wife Sara wins prestigious quiz in Kiryat Shmona.

Israel in the Last Days

“And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers. And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.”
—Ezekiel 20:42-44

Avner Netanyahu, the 15-year-old son of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, won the prestigious National Bible Quiz for Youth in Kiryat Shmona on Tuesday evening.

The prime minister flew in from Jerusalem by helicopter, removing himself from duties of state for a couple of hours to watch and, later, to celebrate his son’s accomplishment. The packed audience observed a smiling, proud father in Kiryat Shmona, as the town celebrated its 60th anniversary.

“I didn’t compete to win,” a modest Avner said afterwards. “I just did my best, and really enjoyed it.”

The chief coordinator of the competition, Shlomo Ventura, was not surprised at the result, telling The Jerusalem Post that Avner Netanyahu was “public-school educated, religious, and knows the Bible very well.”

He concluded by wishing Avner and his family a huge “mazel tov!”

Some 12,000 pupils participated in the Bible Quiz championship this year.

Avner Netanyahu, who is in ninth grade at a school near Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, learned Bible from his grandfather, Prof. Benzion Netanyahu, who celebrated his 100th birthday this year.

After winning the Jerusalem district’s semifinals with 98 out of 100 points, Avner Netanyahu was in good stead to win, achieving the best result out of all the competitors despite being the youngest in the finals.

His mother’s side of the family has a history of success in the competition. His mother and his older brother, Yair, are both former contestants, while his three maternal uncles are all former winners: Matanya Ben-Artzi won the national quiz at age 10, Amatzia Ben-Artzi was runner-up in the world competition, and Hagi Ben-Artzi was world champion.

On Tuesday, the Netanyahu family attracted attention before the finals had even begun. The competition’s final question is traditionally asked by the prime minister. However, in this case, to counter possible claims of nepotism, the rules were altered, and Bible Quiz host Jackie Levy asked the deciding question to the anxious young finalists.

The champion of the girls’ Bible Quiz was Or Ashual of the Bnei Akiva Amana Academy in Kfar Saba.

Avner Netanyahu, Ashual and two runners-up will participate in the World Bible Quiz competition, which takes place on Independence Day in Jerusalem.

At last year’s competition, Binyamin Netanyahu took a moment to pay tribute to his father in-law, Shmuel Ben-Artzi.

“Shmuel is one of Israel’s veteran educators and Bible teachers,” the prime minister said. “He has written many books, including ones about Bible quizzes he loved, in which three of his sons participated and won.

“The Bible is the very essence and foundation of the existence and spirit of the Jewish people,” he said. “It is also the single most important, remarkable and moving piece ever written.”

  1. J.H., 19 March, 2010

    How rare is a child of 15 who knows his Bible like that! It is encouraging to us Christians here in America who see that if Benjamin Netanyahu has raised a child like that, Bibi’s character and leadership ability is confirmed and as we pray for Israel, we know that God reaches the leader’s heart. The truth of the Bible is displaying its might in Israel’s existence and survival; and when we see a modern Israeli boy “hiding God’s Word in his heart,” we see WHY God sustains Israel. The strength and beauty of Israel is the Jewish belief that God will fulfill His Word. What a heritage Avner has!…..an uncle who was the Entebi hero, a father who heads Israel in these treacherous End Times, and a Godly, living grandfather, age 100! I’m looking forward to the contest on May 14-15 this year AND perhaps something greater will occur that day as well!!…….J.H.

Copyright © In The Days