My Jewish Learning

Jewish Prayer Quiz

Jewish prayer has evolved from scattered supplications in the Bible to a vast, codified tradition today. How much do you know about Jewish prayer, synagogues, rabbis, and liturgy?

Question 1. What three themes did Franz Rosenzweig, a 20th century German-Jewish thinker and teacher, identify in Jewish scripture, prayer, and festivals?
 Faith, love for God, and Creation
 Creation, Revelation, and Redemption
 Confession, Redemption, and Renewal
 The Ten Commandments, kashrut, and love of Torah


Question 2. Which prayer, which refers to the "houses of Israel," is recited upon entering the synagogue?
 Mah Tovu


Question 3. True or false: The issue of musical instruments in Shabbat services is controversial, with different communities embracing divergent practices.


Question 4. What is a niggun?
 A wordless melody
 A musical motif that is utilized in various combinations when chanting prayers
 The specific tune for chanting the Torah
 Selections from Psalms, sung on Friday night


Question 5. How many times a day do traditional Jews pray?


Question 6. According to the Talmud, who originated the minhah prayers?


Question 7. In communities without cantors, what title is given to a knowledgeable person who leads the congregation in prayer?
 Sh'liach tzibbur
 Director of Education
 President of the synagogue


Question 8. What is NOT part of the traditional liturgy arranged by the Tannaim?
 The twice-daily recitation of the Shema
 "The Prayer" of 18 blessings, also known as the Amidah
 The recitation every morning of Modeh Ani
 Public Torah reading


Question 9. Why did regular communal Jewish prayer begin in post-Temple times?
 To substitute for the daily offerings at the Temple
 Because the priests felt that the Jewish people were becoming distant and sinful
 Because people felt that sacrificing animals was cruel and unnecessary
 To give people a way to mourn the loss of the Temple


Question 10. How many men are needed to form a traditional prayer quorum?