This contest is now closed to new contestants. Hatzlacha rabba to all five contestants, and thanks very much for your participation!

There is an ongoing score chart here.

Have you ever seen one of those contests where someone begs you to "Like" their camp skit video on Facebook to help them win an IPad? Well, we'd like to try something similar, except that instead of some video, you'll be promoting valuable content on Judaism.SE, and instead of an IPad, you stand to win (at this stage) a fabulous $18 gift card from AllJudaica.com.

This is a trial run of this concept, which is why we're using a relatively nominal prize. (The main point of the prize at this point is so that you can ask your network to "help me win a gift card" if you want.) We plan to use the results of this pilot to fine-tune the process and to apply to Stack Exchange for funds for a more substantial prize for the next time we do this.

Gift Certificate

How to play:

  1. Choose a question on Judaism.SE that you find interesting and/or valuable. Any unclaimed question is eligible: old or new, yours or others', answered or not.

  2. Claim your chosen question by posting an answer to this post.

  3. Wait until Monday, September 12, 2011, when you get a comment notifying you that the contest has started.

  4. For three weeks, do whatever you can to get people to view and favorite the question. Facebook it. Tweet it. Email it. Blog about it. Your friends and followers can get you a contest point simply by viewing the question in their browser. They can get you three points by clicking on the "favorite" star on the left, which only people with registered accounts can do. Of course, it's not that hard to register an account ...

  5. If you have the highest-scoring entry, use the prize to expand your Jewish books or Judaica collection!

Contest Screenshot


  • One entry per contestant.

  • One contestant per question. First come - first served.

  • Judaism.SE moderators are the judges and may not participate as contestants.

  • Each entry will consist of an answer to this post that identifies and links to a single question on Judaism.SE.

  • Contestants may edit their entries, including switching claimed questions, until the contest starts. No one other than a contestant or the judges may edit a contestant's entry.

  • All entries must be received and finalized by Monday, September 12, 2011, at 17:00 UTC (8 pm in Israel, 1 pm in New York). The initial tally will be at any time within the next six hours, at the discretion of the judges. The judges will append the current view count and number of favorites to each entry, comment on the entry to alert the contestant that the contest has started, and lock the entry against any further editing.

  • The contest ends on Monday, October 3, 2011, at 17:00 UTC (8 pm in Israel, 1 pm in New York). The final tally will be at any time within the next six hours, at the discretion of the judges.

  • The score for each entry will be the increase (final tally minus initial tally) in its view count between the contest start and the contest end plus three times the increase in its number of favorites during the same period. The highest-scoring entry will win the prize.

  • Note that the site measures view count very conservatively to avoid double-counting, so the official view count will likely be lower than the actual number of people who see the question. Nonetheless, this contest uses the official view count (seen on the right of the question page, near the top) for scoring.

  • The judges will contact the email address associated with the winner's account to arrange for the winner to claim the prize.

  • This contest is a low-stakes pilot project, so the judges reserve the right to patch any holes in the rules during the contest if necessary. On the other hand, contestants are asked to excuse any holes in the rules that may persist.

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  • What if the question is edited between the time of its entry here and the final deadline? – WAF Sep 9 '11 at 16:19
  • @WAF Do you mean the actual J.SE question? What difference does it make if it's edited? Do you mean the entry answer below? We're going to lock it from editing when the contest starts. – Isaac Moses Sep 9 '11 at 16:23
  • Any objection (from anyone reading this) to mods' entering the contest without being able to win a prize (i.e., if a mod has the highest score, then the highest scorer not a mod wins the prize)? The only objection I can think of is that the mod is taking a J.SE question someone else wants; is this a concern? (If so, mods can pick at the time of the start of the contest.) Or is there another objection? – msh210 Sep 9 '11 at 16:45
  • @msh210 The only objection I can think of is that, even without the prize, a mod could use mod powers to cheat somehow just for the bragging rights, distorting the contest for others. We've got 2.8K questions to choose from, so I'm not worried about the reserving issue. – Isaac Moses Sep 9 '11 at 16:53
  • @Isaac, then I'll avoid the possible appearance of impropriety and refrain. – msh210 Sep 9 '11 at 16:58
  • @msh210, I think that's best. However, if we don't manage to get many entries, and if you want to, I may ask you to enter anyway, just so that we can have a nice trial run. – Isaac Moses Sep 9 '11 at 17:01
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    Note to anyone interested: A viable strategy is to ask, right before the contest starts, a new question that you think will naturally get lots of views from normal usage over the next few weeks, and use that as your question. You get the benefit of the question's initial view count, and the site gets the benefit of a new question that you think is good enough to bet on. Win-win. – Isaac Moses Sep 9 '11 at 17:51
  • Halacha and learning meets modern technology: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/7275/… – Ariel K Sep 12 '11 at 15:36
  • @ArielK, if you intend this to be a contest entry, please submit it as an answer rather than as a comment. – Isaac Moses Sep 12 '11 at 15:38
  • @ArielK, BTW, I like the way you took a hint from my screenshot :) – Isaac Moses Sep 12 '11 at 15:38
  • They converted it to a comment automatically. I added more text so it would stay as a submission. – Ariel K Sep 12 '11 at 15:40
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    @ArielK Wow. Sorry about that. Sometimes, the automatic quality controls are a bit too aggressive. – Isaac Moses Sep 12 '11 at 15:41
  • Would I be allowed to offer a bounty for the question? – Ariel K Sep 12 '11 at 18:05
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    @Ariel I don't see why not. I'd be annoyed if someone did something abusive, such as making meaningless edits once per hour, but I don't see any reason not to use tools like bounty. – Isaac Moses Sep 12 '11 at 18:19
  • For comparison when we determine how to do this next time: meta.superuser.com/questions/3186/… – Isaac Moses Sep 16 '11 at 11:57

I like the idea and I like the site, so I will participate.

I choose:

"Is the market-based distribution of income fair or unfair?"

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  • I upvoted it here since I would have chosen it myself. Oh well.. – Ariel K Sep 12 '11 at 17:01
  • @Ariel, the early bird catches the worm :) Luckily for you, there are plenty of great questions to choose from, including quite a few asked by you! – Isaac Moses Sep 12 '11 at 17:03
  • Contest begun at 143 views and 3 favorites. – msh210 Sep 12 '11 at 17:10

I wanna participate in that one.

This is a very good question Giving Tzedakah with a Credit Card

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  • Contest begun at 90 views and 1 favorite. – msh210 Sep 12 '11 at 17:10

Halacha and learning meets modern technology:

Is it permissible to erase the name of G-d from an E-reader?

This question explores the unique nature of E-ink and the issue of erasing shemos from it. (Just in case you're reading this on a Kindle and are machmir, I put a dash in the Name!)

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  • Contest begun at 319 views and 2 favorites. – msh210 Sep 12 '11 at 17:11

I choose this one:

Putting Tefillin on Un-educated Jews

because of the importance of the mitzvah under discussion.

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  • Contest begun at 128 views and 0 favorites. – msh210 Sep 12 '11 at 17:11

I'll claim this one:

"If God had not delivered us from Egypt we would still be slaves"? Really?

My last attempt to post this got converted to a comment, so here's some extra text to try to prevent that.

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  • Contest begun at 5 views and 0 favorites. – msh210 Sep 12 '11 at 17:11

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