Address by Interim PM Olmert The Bible Quiz
Photo by GPO 

The Bible has everything.  It is also an excellent textbook for a Prime Minister who is at the start of his road.  Moshe Rabeinu teaches us, for example, the meaning of courageous national leadership, which succeeds against all odds – by power of faith and vision – to sweep a nation of slaves and lead them from bondage to redemption.   From the Books of Prophets one can learn social sensitivity: “surely you should break your bread for the hungry “, says the Prophet Isaiah, “and bring the moaning poor home; when you see a naked person, clothe him, and do not hide yourself from your kin”.  This is a decree of social responsibility and mutual responsibility which has always characterized the Jewish people, and which must also characterize the policy of every government in Israel.

The theme of this year’s Bible Quiz is “Israel’s unity”, the unity of the Jewish people, which is one people, despite being a people of numerous tribes and communities dispersed throughout the entire globe.

Our strength is in our unity, but no less than that, our strength is in our diversity, the mutual enrichment between the tribes and denominations within us.  The Jewish people is not a people of one color or one stream.  It has various streams, and only when they converge are the people of Israel transformed into one strong river.  What stands behind this unity, what guarantees this joining of forces within the plurality is the love of Israel, which connects and unites the different streams into one unity.

You, the participants of the World Bible Quiz for Youth – representatives of Jewish communities from the Diaspora – are living proof of the existence of this unity, and its most faithful representatives.  Your coming here today to celebrate the Independence Day of the State of Israel, the State of the Jewish people, is the most profound manifestation of Israel’s unity. 

“How good and how pleasant is the dwelling of brothers in unity”, said the poet of Psalms – and there is no better illustration of this joyful vision than the one which you are presenting here today for the entire people of Israel to see.

I congratulate you, and wish you, and the entire Jewish people, a happy Independence Day.