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 are the names of the books of legal midrash that comment on Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy?
 Mishneh and Mishnah
 Tzedek and Tzedakah
 Sifre and Sifra
 Rabbi and Rebbe

 

Question 2. True or false: Classical works of midrash sometimes contain polemics against Christianity or Islam.
 True
 False

 

Question 3. 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 4. Which laws does the midrash derive from the text of the Shema?
 Tefillin
 Mezuzah
 Details regarding the time of day when Shema should be recited
 All of these

 

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 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 7. Which Torah commentator sometimes dismissed the work of another Torah commentator by saying that "he relies too much on aggadah?"
 Rashi
 Rabbenu Bahai
 Kli Yakar
 Nahmanides
 Tosafot

 

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

 

Question 9. Which of the following texts no longer exists in completion?
 Sifra
 Sifre on Numbers
 Sifre on Deuteronomy
 Sifre Zuta
 All are extant

 

Question 10. What does Mekhilta mean?
 Explanation
 Details
 Rule
 Learned