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 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 3. Abraham Abulafia, a 13th-century mystic, was a devoted follower of
 The Emperor Constantine
 The prophet Samuel
 David Ben Gurion


Question 4. 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 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. 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 7. Which of these forms of Jewish mysticism came first?
 Merkavah mysticism
 Jewish Renewal
 Hasidic mysticism
 The Zohar


Question 8. 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 9. 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 10. Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi, the founder of the Jewish Renewal movement, is especially interested in what aspect of religion?