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. How many rabbis are on the Conservative Movement's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards?


Question 3. Why, according to its author, was the Shulhan Arukh written?
 In order to instill a uniform halakhic code for all Jews
 Because the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and their subsequent dispersion among Ashkenazic communities had caused confusion about the rules of observance
 Because rabbis had become scarce, and Jews needed an easy way to answer their questions
 To create a break from the strict rabbinical system of answering questions through the local town rabbi


Question 4. Who may propose a halakhic teshuvah in Conservative Judaism?
 Any Jew
 Any member of the Board of the Conservative Movement
 Any member of a Conservative synagogue
 Any rabbi
 Any person


Question 5. What does Shulhan Arukh literally mean?
 The Guided Learning
 The Codex Judaicus
 The Final Word
 The Set Table


Question 6. While studying halakhah, which of the following did the yeshivas of Lithuania emphasize in the 1800s and early 1900s?
 Practical application
 Theoretical application
 They emphasized both equally


Question 7. 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