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. What are the sefirot?
 Attribures of God that are understandable to human beings
 All of these
 None of these


Question 2. Gershom Scholem was:
 A Jewish Renewal rabbi who popularized Shema meditation
 The philosopher who wrote I and Thou
 The founder of modern academic study of Jewish mysticism
 The assistant and most enthusiastic proponent of Shabbetai Zevi


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. What is Jewish Renewal?
 An agrarian movement based on holistic eating and organic produce
 A movement that combines Hasidic mysticism with Eastern spiritual traditions
 The seven-year cycle by which produce and plants in Israel are reclaimed
 A more common term for the 18th-century revolution in Jewish learning


Question 6. Which of these is NOT a work of Jewish mysticism?
 Heikhalot literature
 Midrash Tehillim
 Sefer Yetzirah


Question 7. Merkavah mystics chose the first chapter of one prophetic book as their textual starting point. Which book was it?
 The Book of Isaiah
 The Book of Jeremiah
 The Book of Samuel
 The Book of Ezekiel


Question 8. What are kelipot?
 The head coverings that observant Jewish men wear
 The shells or husks that imprison the Holy Sparks
 The red strings that the Kabbalah Centre sells
 The scrolls that contain the most important works of kabbalistic thought


Question 9. 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 10. In 1968, Arthur Green, before he became a prominent Jewish Renewal rabbi, compared the experience of studying kabbalah to:
 Transcendental meditation
 Taking drugs
 Sexual fulfillment