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. From the 13th to the 15th century, where was the world center of kabbalistic teachings?
 Small villages throughout Eastern Europe


Question 2. The key concepts of Lurianic kabbalah include
 tzimtzum (contraction)
 the “shattering of the vessels”
 Both of the above
 Neither of the above


Question 3. True or false: Hasidism spread mystical thinking and living to the masses of European Jewry by teaching that all people could have an experiential connection with God.


Question 4. Which of these is a characteristic of what the contemporary scholar Moshe Idel calls "intensive mysticism"?
 It is purely intellectual in nature
 It is similar to studying chumash with Rashi
 It is experiential, including chanting and meditation
 All of these
 None of these


Question 5. What is significant about Safed, the northern Israeli city?
 In medieval times, many spectral lights were seen in the sky over Safed
 The water surrounding Safed was seen as mystically enriching
 The city contained dirt carried from Mount Sinai, where the Torah was received
 After the Jews were exiled from Spain, many Jewish mystics settled there


Question 6. What are the sefirot?
 Attribures of God that are understandable to human beings
 All of these
 None of these


Question 7. Which of these forms of Jewish mysticism came first?
 Merkavah mysticism
 Jewish Renewal
 Hasidic mysticism
 The Zohar


Question 8. Which of these is NOT a work of Jewish mysticism?
 Heikhalot literature
 Midrash Tehillim
 Sefer Yetzirah


Question 9. Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi, the founder of the Jewish Renewal movement, is especially interested in what aspect of religion?


Question 10. The poem Yedid Nefesh was written by
 The Arizal
 Eleazar Azikri
 Isaac Luria