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. 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 2. Which of these primary halakhic texts was written first?
 Arba'ah Turim
 Shulhan Arukh
 Mishneh Torah
 Igrot Moshe


Question 3. 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


Question 4. What do most scholars believe about the She'iltot?
 It was meant as a specific legal code for one community
 It was originally a collection of sermons
 It was originally one extended discourse
 It was first discovered with the Dead Sea Scrolls


Question 5. Which of these rabbis authored works on Reform Jewish practice?
 Ovadiah Yosef
 Solomon Freehof
 Isaac Klein
 Moshe Feinstein


Question 6. What is the central difference between the code of law written by Joseph Caro, and the gloss to that code written by Moshe Isserles?
 On nearly every matter of practice, Caro is more strict than Isserles
 Caro did not cite sources, Isserles did
 Caro was considered one of the Geonim, Isserles was considered a medieval halakhic authority
 Caro wrote for Sephardic communities, Isserles presented the positions of Ashkenazic authorities


Question 7. What was the first period of halakhic productivity after the close of the Talmud?
 The Haskalah
 The geonic period
 The redaction of the Mishnah
 The period just after the Jews' expulsion from Spain