My Jewish Learning

Hanukkah Quiz

Though initially a minor holiday, Hanukkah has become one of the paradigmatic Jewish holidays. Hanukkah commemorates the victory of the Jews over the Syrian Greeks in 164 BCE, and is celebrated numerous ways. How much do you know about Hanukkah?

Question 1. The Maccabees were led by the sons of the priest Mattathias. How many sons did he have?


Question 2. The famous Hanukkah song written by "Peter, Paul, and Mary" is called
 I Have a Little Dreidel
 Light One Candle
 O Hanukkah
 December is the Best Month of the Year


Question 3. Which dessert from Israel is eaten at Hanukkah because it is fried in oil?
 Sufganiyot (jelly filled donuts)
 Bimuelos (fritters)
 Atayef (cheese-filled pancakes)


Question 4. In the late 19th century, some Jews incorporated which Christmas-time celebrations in to their lives.
 Christmas Eve balls and dances
 Decorating trees
 Going to Mass
 All of the above


Question 5. We can see the development of both the Hanukkah and the stories associated with it in
 The Prophetic writings
 The Gemara
 The Assyrian Talmud
 Psalms of Songs


Question 6. The Torah is read only once during Hanukkah.


Question 7. It has become customary for the Hanukkah menorah to have place for nine flames. Why is there a ninth candle, called the shamash?
 A "servant flame" is needed to light the other eight, keeping them from serving the pragmatic function of lighting another flame
 Because it is necessary to have one flame higher than the others, to remind us of the High Priests
 To symbolize God’s commandments, which we all should fulfill
 There is no real reason, it’s just a custom


Question 8. The “Scroll of Antiochus”, a megillah for Hanukkah, was written in the Talmudic period in what language?


Question 9. Historians believe Hanukkah enjoyed a resurgence in America in modern times because
 Jews makes up a majority of America
 Public schools close for Hanukkah
 Hanukkah falls so close to Christmas
 Broadcast television featured lots of Hanukkah specials


Question 10. The Maccabees were revolting against the ideas of