Today, Yair Rosenberg takes Tablet readers behind the scenes of the game-show-like drama of the Chidon
ha-Tanakh, the annual International Bible Contest being held (and televised) in Israel this Monday, Israeli Independence Day.
This coming Monday, on Israel's Independence Day, the finals of the Chidon HaTanakhthe International Bible Contestwill take place in Jerusalem and will be broadcast live across the country.
Neriah Pinchas, who won the Chidon in 1980 and has written the questions for the contest since 1987, recalls how Prime Minister Menachem Begin was confronted by a reporter during a Torah study group at his home and asked what purpose was served by an international competition in which the outcome was a foregone conclusion.
Bible Kings switches the arena from the Scripps National Spelling Bee to the Chidon HaTanach, the International Bible Contest.
When the Chidon, run under the auspices of Israel's Ministry of Education, restarted its competition for adults in 2012 after a 32-year break, Arditti took note.