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


Question 4. 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 5. From the 13th to the 15th century, where was the world center of kabbalistic teachings?
 Small villages throughout Eastern Europe


Question 6. The poem Yedid Nefesh was written by
 The Arizal
 Eleazar Azikri
 Isaac Luria


Question 7. 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 8. The key concepts of Lurianic kabbalah include
 tzimtzum (contraction)
 the “shattering of the vessels”
 Both of the above
 Neither of the above


Question 9. 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 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