Kabbalah & Mysticism QuizJewish mystical teachings about the nature of God and reality have had a profound impact on the development of Judaism. How much do you know about this area of Jewish contemplation and spirituality?
Question 1. What is Kabbalah?
A 26-volume book of Jewish mystical thought
A loosely-defined umbrella term representing Jewish mystical thought
A collection of the mystical passages in the Torah and Talmud
The most mystical of the four sects of post-Babylonian Exile Judaism
Question 2. Which of the following famous rabbinic commentators joined a group of mystics in Safed?
Obadiah ben Jacob Sforno
Question 3. According to Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag, the study of Kabbalah is:
An otherwordly tradition
A logical system intended for the ethical and political redemption of human society
The only way to guarantee one will have a place in the World to Come
A good way to rub elbows with celebrities
Question 4. What is significant about Safed, the northern Israeli city?
In medieval times, many spectral lights were seen in the sky over Safed
The water surrounding Safed was seen as mystically enriching
The city contained dirt carried from Mount Sinai, where the Torah was received
After the Jews were exiled from Spain, many Jewish mystics settled there
Question 5. From the 13th to the 15th century, where was the world center of kabbalistic teachings?
Small villages throughout Eastern Europe
Question 6. Which of the following non-kabbalistic books was written by a kabbalist?
Shulhan Arukh, the code of Jewish law
Sefer Hahinukh, the list of mitzvot in the Torah
Halikhot Bat Yisrael, the code of Jewish women’s behavior
Sefer Minhagim, the directory of Jewish customs
Question 7. What does Sefer Yetsirah posit about the Hebrew alphabet?
That Hebrew is the only holy language
That each of the 22 letters was used in the creation of the universe
That each Hebrew letter corresponds to a different part of the human body
That the 22 letters are symbolic of the constellations in the sky
Question 8. Abraham Abulafia, a 13th-century mystic, was a devoted follower of
The Emperor Constantine
The prophet Samuel
David Ben Gurion
Question 9. Which of these is a characteristic of the kabbalistic conception of the Ein Sof?
It is the creator of all life
It is limitless
No human can gaze directly at it
Only learned rabbis can come in contact with it
Question 10. Who was the first rebbe of Lubavitch and the author of the Tanya?
Menachem Mendel Schneerson
Israel Baal Shem Tov
Shneur Zalman of Liadi