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. 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 2. When Joseph Soloveitchik moved to the United States, he became Chief Rabbi of the Orthodox community in what city?
 New York


Question 3. Which of these groups was NOT labeled heretic?
 The Karaites
 The Sephardic Jews in North Africa
 The Mitnagdim
 The Hasidim


Question 4. Which of these Jewish thinkers lived most recently?
 A.J. Heschel
 Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson


Question 5. Solomon Ibn Adret is more commonly known as
 Saadiah Gaon


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. In Jerusalem, or On Religious Power and Judaism, Moses Mendelssohn argued that
 Jews should move to Israel
 Judaism is constant with values of the Enlightenment
 Judaism was all but dead
 Jews should convert to Christianity


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. 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 10. 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