My Jewish Learning

Magic & the Supernatural Quiz

Judaism has many folk customs with magical undertones. But these are not without controversy. How well do you know Jewish magic, and the debates around it?

Question 1. In the Middle Ages, which of these Jewish customs lapsed because of Christian suspicions of black magic?
 Certain mourning practices
 The search for leaven
 Certain Shabbat practices
 Some of these
 All of thee


Question 2. Which of these illustrates the power of speech in Judaism?
 God creates the world through a series of speech acts
 God uses speech to bless and curse the people of Israel
 Uttering God's name destroys the walls of Jericho
 A & B only
 All of the above


Question 3. Which of these Jewish thinkers expressed the strongest anti-magic position?
 A.J. Heschel
 Joseph Karo


Question 4. What book contains formulas that were ostensibly used to create golems?
 The Bahir
 The Talmud
 Sefer Yetzirah
 The Necronomicon


Question 5. What was the cause of the violent mob assault against Jews in England, which started at the coronation of Richard I in 1189?
 A Jewish delegation bearing gifts was accused of coming to cast their spells over Richard I
 A Jewish citizen with a speech impediment was accused of being possessed by Satan
 Richard I declared a city-wide ban of Jews in his coronation speech
 The rabbi scheduled to bless Richard I did not show up


Question 6. What is the grave of Jonathan Ben Uziel?
 A site in Amukah, in northern Israel
 A place that is believed to have magical powers
 A place where some people go when looking for love
 All of these


Question 7. Which two medieval Jewish thinkers address the theological legitimacy of astrology?
 Rav & Shmuel
 Ibn Ezra & Maimonides
 Rashi & Rabbenu Tam
 Sforno & Sahl ben Bishr al-Israeli