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. 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 2. The earliest disseminated text of Kabbalistic thought was:
 Yedid Nefesh
 Sefer HaRosh
 Sefer Ha-Bahir


Question 3. Which rabbi is responsible for challenging the convention that the study of Kabbalah is only for a few elite scholars and thinkers?
 Joseph Caro
 Yehuda Ashlag
 Moshe Soleveichik
 The Vilna Gaon


Question 4. 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 5. The poem Yedid Nefesh was written by
 The Arizal
 Eleazar Azikri
 Isaac Luria


Question 6. According to kabbalistic thought, the Holy Sparks are
 the spiritual illuminations inherent in all things
 the 36 righteous people in the world
 the letters of the Torah as seen after fasting for a week
 the inspiration for holiness one finds in misery


Question 7. Which of the following people are associated with the authorhsip of the Zohar
 Moses de Leon
 Moses Maimonides
 Baruch Spinoza


Question 8. Merkavah mystics chose the first chapter of one prophetic book as their textual starting point. Which book was it?
 The Book of Isaiah
 The Book of Jeremiah
 The Book of Samuel
 The Book of Ezekiel


Question 9. Which of these forms of Jewish mysticism came first?
 Merkavah mysticism
 Jewish Renewal
 Hasidic mysticism
 The Zohar


Question 10. 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