Midrash QuizMidrash Aggadah and Midrash Halakhah are rabbinic tools for interpreting the Bible. How much do you know about the origins and methods of these exegetical traditions?
Question 1. Which of the following texts no longer exists in completion?
Sifre on Numbers
Sifre on Deuteronomy
All are extant
Question 2. The concept of kal víhomer is common in midrash. It means:
If X is true, then Y must also be true
The question at hand is too easy to be worth answering
If X is not true, then Y must be true
Question 3. How did the rabbis composing midrash express themselves?
Through exaggeration and inventive history
Through sound and word association
Through parallel verses and concepts across the Bible
All of these
Question 4. The oldest existing aggadic midrashim are
Bereshit Rabbah and Vayikra Rabbah
Shemot Rabbah and Devarim Rabbah
Ruth Rabbah and Esther Rabbah
Shir HaShirim Rabbah and Eikha Rabbah
Question 5. How did Midrash Tanhuma get its name?
Tanhuma specifically refers to the era in which it was collected
Rabbi Tanhuma was the first character to speak in the collection
The Aramaic word "tanhuma" means "opening"
"Tanhuma" was the original title of the collection
Question 6. What belief about Torah is attributed to the school of Rabbi Ishmael?
The Torah text makes use of human conventions such as digression and repetition; not every textual quirk is significant
The Torah's language is divine in character, and thus no letter or word in the Torah can be dismissed as a mere redundancy or convention
The Torah was significant in the time it was given, but without midrash it loses its contemporary relevance
One should study Torah on one's own for many years before attempting to study midrash
Question 7. What is a Midrash Yelamdenu?
A midrash that opens with the words "Teach us, Rabbi"
A midrash that answers a legal question through exegesis of a biblical verse
Primarily a mnemonic device to help one remember an already existing halakhah
All of these
Question 8. According to midrash, which of Judaism's forefathers once worked in a store that sold idols?
Question 9. The laws derived from midrash halakhah:
Are specifically commanded in the Bible
Are interpretations from biblical verses
Mimic specific actions carried out by people in the Bible
Include any law that isnít specifically given in the Torah
Question 10. Which laws does the midrash derive from the text of the Shema?
Details regarding the time of day when Shema should be recited
All of these