My Jewish Learning

Ancient and Medieval History Quiz

The history of ancient and medieval Jewish communities reveals the origins of Judaism as we know it. How much do you know about the main Jewish figures and events, from the Bible to the dawn of modernity?



Question 1. What were the two cultural sub-communities of Jews that emerged in the Middle Ages?
 Ashkenazic and Sephardic
 Spiritual and physical
 Self-governing and politically-dependent
 Orthodox and Reform

 

Question 2. Who were the Karaites?
 A medieval Jewish sect
 An alternative to rabbinic Judaism
 Biblical fundamentalists
 All of these

 

Question 3. What is the Zohar?
 An influential book of Jewish mystical thought about each Torah portion
 A pre-kabbalistic work from the time of the Geonim
 A spiritual alternative to the Talmud, produced around the same time as the Talmud
 An early modern collection of hasidic tales

 

Question 4. Hai Gaon was the head of what educational institution?
 College of Grenada
 College of Madrid
 College of Toledo
 College of Pumbedita

 

Question 5. What historical records exist about the fall of the desert fortress of Masada in 73 CE?
 It is mentioned in the Mishnah
 There is a written report from a Jewish child who escaped
 Josephus, the first-century Jewish historian, wrote about it
 There is nothing written about it, but the Masada story has been passed down orally from generation to generation

 

Question 6. True or false: Archaeological evidence supports the biblical account in the Book of Joshua.
 True
 False

 

Question 7. Which biblical book covers the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites?
 Deuteronomy
 Joshua
 Judges
 Samuel I