My Jewish Learning

Magic & the Supernatural Quiz

Judaism has many folk customs with magical undertones. But these are not without controversy. How well do you know Jewish magic, and the debates around it?

Question 1. What is a dybbuk?
 A dead human that takes possession of the body of a living human
 A demon that takes possession of the body of an animal
 A giant creature made of clay which is brought to life by magical means
 A carnivorous blood-sucking creature living in the forests of Eastern Europe


Question 2. In Jewish thought, dreams are compared to
 Joyful song and dance


Question 3. From where did the story of Lilith originate?
 Modern Afirca
 The ancient Near East
 Early Modern Germany
 Medieval India


Question 4. What was the Urim and Tummim?
 A method of divination that was worn as part of the priestly garments
 The prayer used in a Jewish exorcism
 Special marbles often carried by Jews in the Middle Ages, said to bring good luck and fertility
 The two designated groups of Jews said to practice magic under the direct command of God


Question 5. Rabbi Moses ben Yehiel had to defend which Jewish custom as not being a form or sorcery?
 Breaking glass at a wedding
 Covering challah before blessing it
 Hanging the mezuzah on a doorpost
 Throwing a clot of dirt behind you at a funeral


Question 6. Which of the following special abilities does the Talmud ascribe to the sage Rav?
 The ability to curse others with sterility
 The ability to fly
 The ability to learn an entire tractate of Talmud each night
 The ability to raise the dead


Question 7. Which of the following is a symbol that might be found on a hamsa?
 Star of David
 Both C and B
 All of the above