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 is an alternate name for Midrash Tanhuma?
 Midrash Aggadah
 Midrash Yelamdenu
 Midrash Shelanu
 Midrash Petiha


Question 2. 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 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 midrash tend to focus on?
 Theological concepts
 Holidays and special occasions
 Specific verses from the Torah
 Providing self-help advice


Question 5. Midrash Aggadah appears in discrete volumes of midrash, and also in
 The Scroll of Esther
 The Book of Maccabees
 The Talmud
 The Torah


Question 6. 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 7. 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 8. 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 9. The concept of kal víhomer 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 10. What does the word "rabbah" mean?
 "great" or "large"
 "stern" or "unchanging"