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. What is syncretism?
 A unanimous decision in the Talmud
 A tradition that is accepted both by Ashkenazic and Sephardic rabbis
 A negative commandment
 None of the above


Question 2. Which of the following philosophers was excommunicated from his Jewish community?
 Saadia Gaon
 Baruch Spinoza


Question 3. 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


Question 4. True or false: Kabbalists thought that only a handful of worthy students should receive the secrets of the Law.


Question 5. Which of these statements is NOT one of Maimonides' 13 Principles of Faith?
 God has no physical body
 The Messiah will redeem Israel
 The dead will be resurrected
 Jews must live in the Land of Israel


Question 6. How does Judah Halevi distinguish the Jewish revelation story from Islam and Christianity's stories of revelation?
 Judaism doesn't believe in a literal revelation
 Judaism's revelation was on a mountain
 Judaism's was revealed to 600,000 people and not one person
 None of the above


Question 7. Which of these groups was NOT labeled heretic?
 The Karaites
 The Sephardic Jews in North Africa
 The Mitnagdim
 The Hasidim


Question 8. Which of these philosophers was NOT Spanish?
 Saadiah Gaon
 Judah Halevi
 Bahya Ibn Pakudah


Question 9. True or false: Aristotle is never mentioned in the Talmud.


Question 10. Saadiah Gaon wrote a translation of the Bible in what language?