Congratulations to Har Etzion alumnus Rabbi Ezra Frazer '96* for his second place showing in the International Adult Bible Contest, held in Jerusalem on December 12, 2012. Yishar koach to first place winner Refael Meyuchas of Netanya, Israel and third place winner Eli Werner of Canada.
To view the contest in its entirety
Rabbi Ezra Frazer is not new to Bible Contests.
Ezra won the nationals in 1994 as a sophomore at the Torah Academy of Bergen County and placed fifth on the 1995 international level. He has served as the coordinator of the United States national quiz since 2009.
“For casual competitors, it’s a chance to feel they’re doing a little extra learning,” Frazer said. “For children who are not in day schools, it may be the first time they’re encountering some of these texts. For day-school students, it can give a passion for the topic that they might not get from school, and some of the books on the syllabus aren’t covered in the day-school curriculum. When you’re not studying for a grade, it gives you a feeling of belonging to something bigger: A group of kids across the country who share this interest.”
Serious competitors, Frazer added, garner an added sense of accomplishment.
“When I was in 10th grade, I dedicated 20 to 30 minutes each day to studying for the Chidon. That commitment is valuable. When you have mastered so much of the text, that puts you on course to become a real Torah scholar later in life.”
Now an instructor of biblical Hebrew at Yeshiva University, Frazer said many of his colleagues participated in the Bible Contest when they were in high school. “I think they’d agree what they’re doing now is more sophisticated, but the fact that they mastered all that information laid the foundation.”
After a 32-year intermission, the International Bible Contest for Adults, also called Chidon Hatanach, has returned to Jerusalem.
The contest, held in the International Convention Center in Jerusalem, Wednesday night, December 12th, 2012, fifth ner of Chanuka 5773, was attended by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar.
Minister Sa'ar introduced the competition saying that it has succeeded in evolving from “an idea to a reality.”
"Great interest has taught us that there is a great thirst for knowledge of our roots and origins,” he said. “ After three decades, the contest has returned. We banished the darkness that was left in its place and we came to fix the void.”
"Nine-hundred and six Jews, from 51 countries, registered for the contest," he said. "The torch of fire that was lit in the days of the Macabees against the prohbition of learning Torah has continued to this day and the Jewish nation continues to overcome forces that seek to impose upon us a foreign culture that remains at odds with Jewish values.”
“The key to our victory is learning Torah,” Sa’ar continued. “This competition epitomizes the most effective weapon against the threat of assimilation. Our secret weapon is the study of Torah and Jewish education, which remain the best ways of cultivating Jewish identity and heritage.”
"This Bible Quiz helps to strengthen the power of the people and to strengthen the relationship between its parts,” added Sa’ar.
Read more about the Adult Bible Contest.
* Ezra first came to yeshiva in the summer of 1995 (following his participation in the Bible Contest!), prior to spending Shana Alef in 1996, Shana Bet 1997, Shana Gimmel 1998, and returning for three more years as a Post College Talmid (2001, 2002, and 2005). Ezra - we are so proud of you!!