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. Most of the collections of aggadic midrash were compiled between what years?
 586 B.C.E.-70 C.E.
 200- 1000 C.E.
 350-400 C.E.
 1600-1800 C.E.


Question 2. Which of the following texts no longer exists in completion?
 Sifre on Numbers
 Sifre on Deuteronomy
 Sifre Zuta
 All are extant


Question 3. 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 4. The laws derived from midrash halakhah:
 Are specifically commanded in the Bible
 Are interpretations from biblical verses
 Mimic specific actions carried out by people in the Bible
 Include any law that isnít specifically given in the Torah


Question 5. Which of these is not an example of midrash halakhah?
 Daily prayers
 Wearing tefilin on oneís head and arm
 Placing a mezuzah on the doorposts of oneís house
 Keeping kosher


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


Question 8. 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 9. 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 10. What does midrash tend to focus on?
 Theological concepts
 Holidays and special occasions
 Specific verses from the Torah
 Providing self-help advice