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 the Rif?
 A North African rabbi who wrote a book of Jewish law
 The foremost commentator on the Torah and Prophets
 The Safed-based compiler of the Shulhan Arukh
 The first person to determine how to tie tzitzit

 

Question 2. In the biblical story of the Daughters of Zelophehad, how do the title characters settle their halakhic dispute?
 They use the Sanhedrin court, its first known mention
 They create an altar and pray for an answer
 Their husbands take the case to Moses and Aaron
 They take the matter to Moses, who brings it directly to God

 

Question 3. In which area was the Vilna Gaon critical of Maimonides?
 In Maimonides' application of science to Jewish law
 In Maimonides' rejection of amulets and demons
 In Maimonides' attempts to theorize the existence of God in scientific terms
 In Maimonides' reliance on gentile medicines

 

Question 4. What is the Mishneh Torah?
 The oral commentary to the Torah, relating additional stories and laws
 The written commentary to the Torah, relating additional stories and laws
 A summary of laws relating to all areas of Jewish life, composed by Maimonides
 A tool of interpretation which assumes that every word, letter, and even stroke of the pen in the Torah has meaning

 

Question 5. The Geonim were halakhic leaders in what places?
 Israel and Babylonia
 Germany and France
 Poland and Russia
 Babylonia and North Africa

 

Question 6. 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 7. Which is the first compiled halakhic code?
 Sefer Ha-She'iltot
 Halakhot Pesukot
 Shulhan Arukh
 Iggerot Moshe