My Jewish Learning

Halakhah Quiz

Jewish authorities have produced over time a major body of legal texts, governing nearly every aspect of Jewish practice--or Halakhah. How much do you know about Jewish law and its foundational texts?

Question 1. Who was Rabbi Moshe Feinstein?
 Author of a collection of halakhic responsa
 An Orthodox legal authority who advocated a strict stance vis-a-vis non-Orthodox Judaism
 The foremost 20th century authority on Jewish law
 All of these


Question 2. True or false: While early Reform leaders rejected halakhah outright, more recent Reform leaders have argued that halakhah is still important.


Question 3. Which 17th-century rabbi helped define halakhot about how Sephardic and Ashkenazic rabbis may react with each other?
 Joseph di Trani
 Zvi Hirsch Ashkenazi
 Yom Tob Algazi
 Joseph Caro


Question 4. What was the main difference between the Vilna Gaon and the leaders of the Hasidic movement?
 He believed that Kabbalah was nonsense, and banned it from study
 He believed that only the very highly learned should have access to esoteric and mystical texts
 He believed that all secular learning was nonsense, while Hasidim embraced the marriage of secular and religious
 He believed that study of Jewish law was the only way to commune with God


Question 5. What was Rabbi Moshe Feinstein's ruling regarding taking out life insurance?
 It violates the principle of trusting in God
 It is like any other business transaction--God helps those who help themselves
 It is not forbidden, but is frowned upon, as a form of gambling
 He never issued a ruling regarding life insurance


Question 6. Which secular subject was the Vilna Gaon well-versed in?
 All of the above


Question 7. Who is Ovadiah Yosef?
 The author of the Tur, the predecessor of the Shulhan Arukh
 A popular Sephardic Orthodox rabbi and the author of his own halakhic compilation
 A leading German scholar of the "Positive-Historical" approach to Judaism
 The compiler of the Kitzur Shulhan Arukh