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. True or false: Aristotle is never mentioned in the Talmud.


Question 2. Saadiah Gaon wrote a translation of the Bible in what language?


Question 3. Solomon Ibn Adret is more commonly known as
 Saadiah Gaon


Question 4. Which Jewish philosopher was sometimes known as the rabbi of Theresienstadt?
 Martin Buber
 Abraham Joshua Heschel
 Menachem Mendel Schneerson
 Leo Baeck


Question 5. Which of the following philosophers was about to convert to Christianity, but decided to attend synagogue before he left Judaism, and was so inspired by the Yom Kippur service he attended, that he ultimately became a strong advocate of Judaism for Jews, and Christianity for Christians?
 Hermann Cohen
 Franz Rosenzweig
 E.E. Dessler
 Martin Buber


Question 6. What is rationalism?
 Rationalism is the attitude in which religious faith has to justify itself at the bar of reason before it can be accepted.
 Rationalism is the attitude that logic is at the base of all of Godís actions.
 Rationalism is the attitude in which rational actions are examined and proved to be ultimately hypocritical.
 Rationalism is the intensely personal philosophy in which the individual responds not to a philosophical system, which she surveys from the outside, but to what is true for her.


Question 7. 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 8. Which of the following philosophers was excommunicated from his Jewish community?
 Saadia Gaon
 Baruch Spinoza


Question 9. 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 10. Which of these philosophers was NOT Spanish?
 Saadiah Gaon
 Judah Halevi
 Bahya Ibn Pakudah