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. What is a golem?
 A dead human that takes possession of the body of a living human
 A demon that takes possession of the body of an animal
 A giant creature made of clay which is brought to life by magical means
 A carnivorous blood-sucking creature living in the forests of Eastern Europe

 

Question 2. 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

 

Question 3. Which of the following special abilities does the Talmud ascribe to the sage Rav?
 The ability to curse others with sterility
 The ability to fly
 The ability to learn an entire tractate of Talmud each night
 The ability to raise the dead

 

Question 4. Which of the following Jewish ritual objects did Christians (mistakenly) believe Jews used human blood to create?
 The etrog, at Sukkot
 The matzah, at Passover
 The bitter herb, at Passover
 The menorah, at Hanukkah
 The Torah

 

Question 5. What is Kabbalah Ma'asit?
 Another name for the Zohar
 Mystical literature that is more theoretical than practical
 Mystical literature that offers formulas for achieving closeness to God through meditation and name-recitation
 A book from the Jewish enlightenment that decries magical practices

 

Question 6. What is blood libel?
 The use of blood for healing purposes
 The accusation of ritual child murder
 A theory pertaining to Jewish genetics
 The practice of storing blood in customary vases

 

Question 7. What is a dybbuk?
 A dead human that takes possession of the body of a living human
 A demon that takes possession of the body of an animal
 A giant creature made of clay which is brought to life by magical means
 A carnivorous blood-sucking creature living in the forests of Eastern Europe