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. Judah Haleviís Kuzari is the story of
 The king of the Khazars who is considering a conversion to Judaism
 A man from a town called Kuzar who has to decide whether to accept or reject written Jewish law
 A poet living in a cave in Safed who has visions of angels
 The history of the city of Jerusalem, as told by the prophet Elijah


Question 2. True or False: Medieval Jewish Philosophers were averse to ever citing the work or theories of non-Jewish philosophers.


Question 3. Which of the following philosophers was excommunicated from his Jewish community?
 Saadia Gaon
 Baruch Spinoza


Question 4. 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 5. Which of these groups was NOT labeled heretic?
 The Karaites
 The Sephardic Jews in North Africa
 The Mitnagdim
 The Hasidim


Question 6. 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 7. A main goal of medieval Jewish thinkers was to reconcile Jewish thought with what philosophy?


Question 8. Which of these statements is NOT one of Maimonides' 13 Principles of Faith?
 God has no physical body
 The Messiah will redeem Israel
 The dead will be resurrected
 Jews must live in the Land of Israel


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


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