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 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 2. 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 3. What is tzimtzum?
A product of the shevirah, shattering
A vessel of light flowing from the orfices of the first man
Godís essential self
A contraction of God into a finite space
Question 4. 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 5. 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 womenís behavior
Sefer Minhagim, the directory of Jewish customs
Question 6. True or false: Hasidism spread mystical thinking and living to the masses of European Jewry by teaching that all people could have an experiential connection with God.
Question 7. According to Luria and his followers, what does tikkun olam represent?
The idea that following mitzvot, no matter how seemingly trivial, takes on a cosmic definition
Repairing the world by doing good deeds for non-Jews
Visualizing every part of the body as a separate vessel of God
Combining the ideas of involuntary commandment and voluntary service
Question 8. Which rabbi is responsible for challenging the convention that the study of Kabbalah is only for a few elite scholars and thinkers?
The Vilna Gaon
Question 9. Which of the following people are associated with the authorhsip of the Zohar
Moses de Leon
Question 10. Which of these Jewish thinkers played a key role in popularizing Jewish meditation?