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


Question 2. According to kabbalistic thought, the Holy Sparks are
 the spiritual illuminations inherent in all things
 the 36 righteous people in the world
 the letters of the Torah as seen after fasting for a week
 the inspiration for holiness one finds in misery


Question 3. 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 4. 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 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. The key concepts of Lurianic kabbalah include
 tzimtzum (contraction)
 the “shattering of the vessels”
 Both of the above
 Neither of the above


Question 7. 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 8. 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 9. Who was the first rebbe of Lubavitch and the author of the Tanya?
 Menachem Mendel Schneerson
 Israel Baal Shem Tov
 Shneur Zalman of Liadi
 Moses Mendelssohn


Question 10. 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