There are 24 books in the Hebrew Bible, the Tanach, comprising 23,145 verses and hundreds of names of places and individuals. One can study the Tanach for a lifetime and still not know everything within its contents.
But there are people who know a great deal about the Hebrew Bible, and it is for them that the Orthodox Union and the Center for the Jewish Future of Yeshiva University join the World Zionist Organization and other partners in co-sponsoring the U.S. National Bible Contest for Adults, an event that will determine which outstanding Bible scholars will represent the United States at the International Chidon HaTanach (Bible Contest) for Adults in Jerusalem in December.
The American contest will be held on Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at the West Side Institutional Synagogue, 120 West 76th Street in Manhattan, and will mark the first time that national finals are taking place outside of Israel. In addition to the Bible competition, the proceedings will include a musical performance and remarks by Israel Consul-General in New York Ido Aharoni and YU President Richard M. Joel.
There will be 13 contestants.
“The OU Torah section on the Orthodox Union website, www.outorah.org, is comprised of a wide variety of programs addressing many areas of Torah, with significant resources devoted to Daf Yomi and Nach Yomi, the multi-year cycles that cover all of the Talmud, the books of the Prophets and the other Writings in the Torah canon” declared OU Executive Vice President Allen Fagin. “Thousands of people around the world immerse themselves daily in the OU shiurim taught by distinguished rabbis from the OU and beyond. With this background, there is no question that when offered the co-sponsorship of the national contest, the OU happily accepted,” Mr. Fagin said.
“Tanach is the cornerstone of our history and our shared Jewish heritage – it unifies Am Yisrael, Torat Yisrael, and Eretz Yisael in a way that nothing else can,” said Zev Berman, the U.S. Coordinator of the International Chidon HaTanach for Adults and former OU national officer. “Our contestants run the gamut, representing all streams of Judaism and every level of observance. This competition is truly a unifying force within the Jewish community.”
In addition to Consul-General Aharoni and Yeshiva University President Joel, senior officials from the World Zionist Organization, the American Zionist Movement, and the Jewish Federations of North America will serve as judges. The distinguished panel will choose a winner and two runners up to compete at the International Chidon HaTanach for Adults in Jerusalem.
The event will be accessible to a wide audience in the United States and Israel via a live stream on Shalom TV.
Entrance to the U.S. National Bible Contest for Adults competition is free with a ticket obtained in advance. Register at www.azm.org/bible-contest/.