My Jewish Learning

Thinkers & Thought Quiz

A wide cast of intellectuals devoted their lives to defining what Judaism meant to them, and what it should mean to others. How much do you know about these thinkers and their philosophies?



Question 1. When did Jewish thinkers begin to try to prove the existence of God?
 In the Second Temple period
 In the Talmud
 In the Middle Ages
 After the Enlightenment

 

Question 2. Which of these Jewish thinkers lived most recently?
 Philo
 Maimonides
 A.J. Heschel
 Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson

 

Question 3. Emmanuel Levinas published works in Les Temps Modernes--the journal of which French philosopher?
 Albert Camus
 Jean-Paul Sartre
 Simone de Beauvoir
 Michel Foucault

 

Question 4. In religious existentialism the believer adopts monotheism because
 He has seen absolute proof of a single God
 Through a leap of faith
 He understands that he is just a speck in the vastness of the universe
 He has been told to at Sunday school

 

Question 5. Who wrote Wars of the Lord?
 Maimonides
 Nahmanides
 Gersonides
 Rashba

 

Question 6. Which of these statements about Jewish philosophy is true?
 There is not a lot of debate; most issues are very straightforward and authorities are unified
 It has historically been more important than Jewish practice (halakhah)
 Throughout history, it developed in dialogue with surrounding cultures
 Though there is a lot of debate, all agree that the ultimate reward awaits in the World to Come

 

Question 7. True or false: Kabbalists thought that only a handful of worthy students should receive the secrets of the Law.
 True
 False

 

Question 8. Which of the following philosophers was excommunicated from his Jewish community?
 Saadia Gaon
 Nachmanides
 Gersonides
 Baruch Spinoza

 

Question 9. True or false: Non-Jewish readers refered to Moses Mendelssohn as "the Jewish Socrates."
 True
 False

 

Question 10. How does Judah Halevi distinguish the Jewish revelation story from Islam and Christianity's stories of revelation?
 Judaism doesn't believe in a literal revelation
 Judaism's revelation was on a mountain
 Judaism's was revealed to 600,000 people and not one person
 None of the above