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. What are kelipot?
 The head coverings that observant Jewish men wear
 The shells or husks that imprison the Holy Sparks
 The red strings that the Kabbalah Centre sells
 The scrolls that contain the most important works of kabbalistic thought


Question 2. 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 3. The earliest disseminated text of Kabbalistic thought was:
 Yedid Nefesh
 Sefer HaRosh
 Sefer Ha-Bahir


Question 4. Which of the following famous rabbinic commentators joined a group of mystics in Safed?
 Moses Maimonides
 Isaac Abravanel
 Obadiah ben Jacob Sforno
 Joseph Caro


Question 5. According to Luria and his followers, what does tikkun olam represent?
 The idea that following mitzvot, no matter how seemingly trivial, takes on a cosmic definition
 Repairing the world by doing good deeds for non-Jews
 Visualizing every part of the body as a separate vessel of God
 Combining the ideas of involuntary commandment and voluntary service


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 Jewish thinkers played a key role in popularizing Jewish meditation?
 Gershom Scholem
 Elliot Wolfson
 Aryeh Kaplan
 Avraham Berg


Question 8. The poem Yedid Nefesh was written by
 The Arizal
 Eleazar Azikri
 Isaac Luria


Question 9. 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 10. 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