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. 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 2. Which of the following kabbalistic thinkers attempted to attain prophecy?
 Isaac Luria
 Abraham Joshua Heschel
 Abraham Abulafia
 All of these
 None of these


Question 3. 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 4. Which of these is a characteristic of what the contemporary scholar Moshe Idel calls "intensive mysticism"?
 It is purely intellectual in nature
 It is similar to studying chumash with Rashi
 It is experiential, including chanting and meditation
 All of these
 None of these


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 women’s behavior
 Sefer Minhagim, the directory of Jewish customs


Question 6. 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 7. The key concepts of Lurianic kabbalah include
 tzimtzum (contraction)
 the “shattering of the vessels”
 Both of the above
 Neither of the above


Question 8. Which of these Jewish thinkers played a key role in popularizing Jewish meditation?
 Gershom Scholem
 Elliot Wolfson
 Aryeh Kaplan
 Avraham Berg


Question 9. What are the sefirot?
 Attribures of God that are understandable to human beings
 All of these
 None of these


Question 10. Which of the following famous rabbinic commentators joined a group of mystics in Safed?
 Moses Maimonides
 Isaac Abravanel
 Obadiah ben Jacob Sforno
 Joseph Caro