My Jewish Learning

Jewish Gender & Feminism Quiz

Even as Jewish women have attained ritual and leadership opportunities formerly restricted to them, the history of female exclusion in Judaism continues to linger. How much do you know about gender issues in the Jewish past and present?

Question 1. Which of the sefirot (mystical attributes of God) evokes a female aspect of God?
 Hokhmah (wisdom)
 Hod (splendor)
 Malkhut (sovereignty)
 Tiferet (beauty)


Question 2. According to the Bible, childless widows are the legal responsibility of whom?
 Their fathers
 Their brothers
 Their husband's oldest brother
 The entire community


Question 3. True or false: The mystics conceive of the relationship between God and the Jewish people in sexual terms, with God as male and the Jewish people as female.


Question 4. What was life like for Jewish women in the Middle Ages?
 In Muslim lands women tended to be more sheltered than in Christian areas
 In Christian lands women tended to be more sheltered than in Muslim areas
 In both Muslim and Christian lands Jewish women enjoyed tremendous upward mobility
 In both Muslim and Christian lands Jewish women lived circumscribed lives, but were allowed to initiate divorce


Question 5. As a general rule, women are exempted from what commandments, according to rabbinic Judaism?
 Positive time-bound commandments, like fixed prayer
 Commandments related to the Temple, like animal sacrifice
 Negative commandments, like the prohibition to covet
 All commandments except those that relate to marriage and child-rearing


Question 6. Which of these is a feminine name for God?
 El Shaddai


Question 7. What is the biblical precedent for allowing a woman to inherit her father's property, when she has no brothers?
 Hannah and her seven sons
 Miriam and the women leaving Eypt
 The daughters of Zelophehad
 Deborah the prophetess and her successful leadership