My Jewish Learning

Midrash Quiz

Midrash 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 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


Question 2. Were midrashic texts discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls?


Question 3. What does the word midrash mean?
 Searching out
 Going on a journey


Question 4. The concept of kal víhomer is common in midrash. It means:
 God's presence
 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 5. Which of the following texts no longer exists in completion?
 Sifre on Numbers
 Sifre on Deuteronomy
 Sifre Zuta
 All are extant


Question 6. Who said that "the Torah speaks in the language of human beings"?
 Rabbi Akiva
 Rabbi Yishmael
 Rabbi Yohanan
 Reish Lakish


Question 7. What does Mekhilta mean?


Question 8. Which of the following are examples of contemporary midrash?
 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I See the Promised Land" speech
 Passover Haggadahs
 "Turn, Turn, Turn," sung by the Byrds, written by Pete Seeger
 All of the above


Question 9. 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 10. Serah has no part in any narrative in the Torah, but there are many midrashic traditions about her, including:
 That she was Moses' mother
 That she married Pharaoh in order to save Moses
 That she identified Moses as the redeemer who would deliver the Israelites from Egypt
 That she taught Moses how to perform miracles in front of Pharaoh, because he was initially too scared