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. Which movement attempted to claim the Vilna Gaon as an ancestor?
 Conservative Judaism
 Jewish Renewal


Question 2. 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 3. 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 4. Which of the following compilers of halakhah was careful to cite the sources in his work?
 Maimonides (Mishneh Torah)
 Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe)
 Joseph di Trani (Maharit)
 Yehiel Mekhel Epstein (Arukh HaShulhan)


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