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 Torah commentator sometimes dismissed the work of another Torah commentator by saying that "he relies too much on aggadah?"
 Rabbenu Bahai
 Kli Yakar


Question 2. 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 3. 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 4. What does the word "rabbah" mean?
 "great" or "large"
 "stern" or "unchanging"


Question 5. Who said that "the Torah speaks in the language of human beings"?
 Rabbi Akiva
 Rabbi Yishmael
 Rabbi Yohanan
 Reish Lakish


Question 6. According to midrash, which of Judaism's forefathers once worked in a store that sold idols?


Question 7. The authorship of the Mekhilta is attributed to whom?
 Rabbi Ishmael
 Rabbi Hillel
 Rabbi Shammai


Question 8. True or false: Classical works of midrash sometimes contain polemics against Christianity or Islam.


Question 9. Most of the collections of aggadic midrash were compiled between what years?
 586 B.C.E.-70 C.E.
 200- 1000 C.E.
 350-400 C.E.
 1600-1800 C.E.


Question 10. The Mekhilta is a book of legal midrashim focusing on