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 is tzimtzum?
 A product of the shevirah, shattering
 A vessel of light flowing from the orfices of the first man
 Godís essential self
 A contraction of God into a finite space


Question 2. 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 3. Merkavah mysticism attempts to conceive of God as:
 A chariot, based on the Book of Ezekiel
 A lion, based on the Book of Daniel
 A pillar of fire, based on Exodus
 A vessel of oil, based on the story of Elisha


Question 4. What are the sefirot?
 Attribures of God that are understandable to human beings
 All of these
 None of these


Question 5. 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 6. Abraham Abulafia, a 13th-century mystic, was a devoted follower of
 The Emperor Constantine
 The prophet Samuel
 David Ben Gurion


Question 7. The earliest disseminated text of Kabbalistic thought was:
 Yedid Nefesh
 Sefer HaRosh
 Sefer Ha-Bahir


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. Which of the following non-kabbalistic books was written by a kabbalist?
 Shulhan Arukh, the code of Jewish law
 Sefer Hahinukh, the list of mitzvot in the Torah
 Halikhot Bat Yisrael, the code of Jewish womenís behavior
 Sefer Minhagim, the directory of Jewish customs


Question 10. 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