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. 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 2. 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 3. 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 4. From the 13th to the 15th century, where was the world center of kabbalistic teachings?
 Small villages throughout Eastern Europe


Question 5. 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 6. Which rabbi is responsible for challenging the convention that the study of Kabbalah is only for a few elite scholars and thinkers?
 Joseph Caro
 Yehuda Ashlag
 Moshe Soleveichik
 The Vilna Gaon


Question 7. Which of the following people are associated with the authorhsip of the Zohar
 Moses de Leon
 Moses Maimonides
 Baruch Spinoza


Question 8. The poem Yedid Nefesh was written by
 The Arizal
 Eleazar Azikri
 Isaac Luria


Question 9. 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 10. 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