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. What does midrash tend to focus on?
Holidays and special occasions
Specific verses from the Torah
Providing self-help advice
Question 2. 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 3. 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 4. What does the word midrash mean?
Going on a journey
Question 5. True or false: After the destruction of the Temple, midrash halakhah was used to create new liturgies and rituals while still maintaining continuity by linking to the words of the Torah.
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. Which Torah commentator sometimes dismissed the work of another Torah commentator by saying that "he relies too much on aggadah?"
Question 8. Were midrashic texts discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls?
Question 9. What are the two main categories of midrash?
Yerushalmi and Bavli
Ashkenazic and Sephardic
Halakhah and Aggadah
Aseh and Lo Ta’aseh
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