Tipped off about Bat El Levy’s beliefs, an anti-missionary group has called on religious Jews to boycott the May 8 contest, at which she will compete against 15 other teenagers from Israel and abroad for a prize awarded by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
The group, Yad L’Ahim, has invoked Israeli law forbidding Christians from proselytizing in the Jewish state. But there is more at stake in the quiz, which is held on Israel’s 60th
Independence Day — the question of who has a better command of holy writ.
In a protest letter quoted by Israel’s Maariv newspaper, Yad L’Ahim chairman Rabbi Shlomo Dov Lipschitz said Levy “has a chance of becoming the world Bible champion” and that this could “greatly encourage” the spread of Christianity among Jews. He further argued that Levy should be disqualified from the quiz because she is, in his view, non-Jewish.
This was rejected by Israel’s Education Ministry, which runs the Bible quiz. “The girl is designated as Jewish, and her personal beliefs are not a matter of concern to us,” a ministry spokeswoman said.