My Jewish Learning

Kabbalah & Mysticism Quiz

Jewish mystical teachings about the nature of God and reality have had a profound impact on the development of Judaism. How much do you know about this area of Jewish contemplation and spirituality?

Question 1. Which of these is a characteristic of the kabbalistic conception of the Ein Sof?
 It is the creator of all life
 It is limitless
 No human can gaze directly at it
 Only learned rabbis can come in contact with it


Question 2. Which of these forms of Jewish mysticism came first?
 Merkavah mysticism
 Jewish Renewal
 Hasidic mysticism
 The Zohar


Question 3. In 1968, Arthur Green, before he became a prominent Jewish Renewal rabbi, compared the experience of studying kabbalah to:
 Transcendental meditation
 Taking drugs
 Sexual fulfillment


Question 4. What does Sefer Yetsirah posit about the Hebrew alphabet?
 That Hebrew is the only holy language
 That each of the 22 letters was used in the creation of the universe
 That each Hebrew letter corresponds to a different part of the human body
 That the 22 letters are symbolic of the constellations in the sky


Question 5. The key concepts of Lurianic kabbalah include
 tzimtzum (contraction)
 the “shattering of the vessels”
 Both of the above
 Neither of the above


Question 6. What is Jewish Renewal?
 An agrarian movement based on holistic eating and organic produce
 A movement that combines Hasidic mysticism with Eastern spiritual traditions
 The seven-year cycle by which produce and plants in Israel are reclaimed
 A more common term for the 18th-century revolution in Jewish learning


Question 7. What is tzimtzum?
 A product of the shevirah, shattering
 A vessel of light flowing from the orfices of the first man
 God’s essential self
 A contraction of God into a finite space


Question 8. Gershom Scholem was:
 A Jewish Renewal rabbi who popularized Shema meditation
 The philosopher who wrote I and Thou
 The founder of modern academic study of Jewish mysticism
 The assistant and most enthusiastic proponent of Shabbetai Zevi


Question 9. What is Kabbalah?
 A 26-volume book of Jewish mystical thought
 A loosely-defined umbrella term representing Jewish mystical thought
 A collection of the mystical passages in the Torah and Talmud
 The most mystical of the four sects of post-Babylonian Exile Judaism


Question 10. Why is Avraham Berg's Kabbalah Centre organization criticized by many Jewish institutions?
 The paraphernalia it sells
 They accuse it of distorting kabbalistic teachings and concepts
 Its recruitment and teaching methods
 All of these
 None of these