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. What was Maimonides' position about how Jews should approach midrash?
 They should understand midrashic teachings literally
 They should write midrash off as philosophically unsophisticated
 They should accept only the most rational midrashim
 They should approach midrash as a code of metaphors hinting at deeper truths


Question 2. The Mekhilta is a book of legal midrashim focusing on


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


Question 4. Which of these is NOT a work of halakhic midrash?
 Vayikra Rabbah
 Sifra on Leviticus
 Mekhilta on Exodus
 Sifrei B'midbar


Question 5. The authorship of the Mekhilta is attributed to whom?
 Rabbi Ishmael
 Rabbi Hillel
 Rabbi Shammai


Question 6. What does midrash tend to focus on?
 Theological concepts
 Holidays and special occasions
 Specific verses from the Torah
 Providing self-help advice


Question 7. True or false: Midrashim are all stories.


Question 8. 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 9. Midrash Aggadah appears in discrete volumes of midrash, and also in
 The Scroll of Esther
 The Book of Maccabees
 The Talmud
 The Torah


Question 10. What is Midrash Aggadah?
 Religious insights that make the Torah applicable to later Jewish realities
 Verse-by-verse commentaries
 Homilies that may have originated in sermons linked to the weekly Shabbat Torah reading
 All of these