My Jewish Learning

Kabbalah & Mysticism Quiz

Jewish 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. The earliest disseminated text of Kabbalistic thought was:
 Yedid Nefesh
 Sefer HaRosh
 Sefer Ha-Bahir


Question 2. 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 3. Merkavah mysticism attempts to conceive of God as:
 A chariot, based on the Book of Ezekiel
 A lion, based on the Book of Daniel
 A pillar of fire, based on Exodus
 A vessel of oil, based on the story of Elisha


Question 4. Which of these forms of Jewish mysticism came first?
 Merkavah mysticism
 Jewish Renewal
 Hasidic mysticism
 The Zohar


Question 5. Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi, the founder of the Jewish Renewal movement, is especially interested in what aspect of religion?


Question 6. Which of the following famous rabbinic commentators joined a group of mystics in Safed?
 Moses Maimonides
 Isaac Abravanel
 Obadiah ben Jacob Sforno
 Joseph Caro


Question 7. Which of these Jewish thinkers played a key role in popularizing Jewish meditation?
 Gershom Scholem
 Elliot Wolfson
 Aryeh Kaplan
 Avraham Berg


Question 8. Why is Avraham Berg's Kabbalah Centre organization criticized by many Jewish institutions?
 The paraphernalia it sells
 They accuse it of distorting kabbalistic teachings and concepts
 Its recruitment and teaching methods
 All of these
 None of these


Question 9. 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 10. 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