My Jewish Learning

Thinkers & Thought Quiz

A wide cast of intellectuals devoted their lives to defining what Judaism meant to them, and what it should mean to others. How much do you know about these thinkers and their philosophies?



Question 1. Judah Haleviís Kuzari is the story of
 The king of the Khazars who is considering a conversion to Judaism
 A man from a town called Kuzar who has to decide whether to accept or reject written Jewish law
 A poet living in a cave in Safed who has visions of angels
 The history of the city of Jerusalem, as told by the prophet Elijah

 

Question 2. When Joseph Soloveitchik moved to the United States, he became Chief Rabbi of the Orthodox community in what city?
 Boston
 New York
 Philadelphia
 Baltimore

 

Question 3. Who was voted the greatest British Jew of all time by the London Jewish Chronicle in 2005?
 Hermann Adler
 Sir Jonathan Sacks
 Louis Jacobs
 Benjamin Disraeli

 

Question 4. Which of these Jewish thinkers identified as an Orthodox Jew?
 Philo
 Maimonides
 A.J. Heschel
 Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson

 

Question 5. Who wrote Wars of the Lord?
 Maimonides
 Nahmanides
 Gersonides
 Rashba

 

Question 6. Which of these statements about Jewish philosophy is true?
 There is not a lot of debate; most issues are very straightforward and authorities are unified
 It has historically been more important than Jewish practice (halakhah)
 Throughout history, it developed in dialogue with surrounding cultures
 Though there is a lot of debate, all agree that the ultimate reward awaits in the World to Come

 

Question 7. Which of the following philosophers was excommunicated from his Jewish community?
 Saadia Gaon
 Nachmanides
 Gersonides
 Baruch Spinoza

 

Question 8. True or false: Aristotle is never mentioned in the Talmud.
 True
 False

 

Question 9. Saadiah Gaon wrote a translation of the Bible in what language?
 French
 Spanish
 Ladino
 Arabic

 

Question 10. When did Jewish thinkers begin to try to prove the existence of God?
 In the Second Temple period
 In the Talmud
 In the Middle Ages
 After the Enlightenment