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. Which of the following Jewish ritual objects did Christians (mistakenly) believe Jews used human blood to create?
 The etrog, at Sukkot
 The matzah, at Passover
 The bitter herb, at Passover
 The menorah, at Hanukkah
 The Torah


Question 2. 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


Question 3. Which of the following is not a punishment for the use of magic as cited in the Mishnah?
 Death by stoning
 Loss of place in the world to come
 Death of one's firstborn son


Question 4. Which of these is NOT a reason that a talmudic sage was granted special powers?
 He was the first person in synagogue every morning of his life
 He never walked four cubits without speaking words of Torah
 He never drank any liquid except water
 He never laid out a bed and slept for a regular period of time
 He never called anybody by a nickname


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


Question 7. Which of the following supernatural practices is forbidden in the Bible?
 Hepatoscopy (reading animal entrails)
 Belomancy (casting or shooting arrows as lots)
 All of these
 None of these