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. According to midrash, which of Judaism's forefathers once worked in a store that sold idols?
 Abraham
 Isaac
 Jacob
 Moses

 

Question 2. 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

 

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 are the two main categories of midrash?
 Yerushalmi and Bavli
 Ashkenazic and Sephardic
 Halakhah and Aggadah
 Aseh and Lo Ta’aseh

 

Question 5. 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 6. What does the word midrash mean?
 Searching out
 Going on a journey
 Reading
 Reciting

 

Question 7. The oldest existing aggadic midrashim are
 Bereshit Rabbah and Vayikra Rabbah
 Shemot Rabbah and Devarim Rabbah
 Ruth Rabbah and Esther Rabbah
 Shir HaShirim Rabbah and Eikha Rabbah

 

Question 8. The concept of kal v’homer 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 9. 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 10. Which of these is not an example of midrash halakhah?
 Daily prayers
 Wearing tefilin on one’s head and arm
 Placing a mezuzah on the doorposts of one’s house
 Keeping kosher