Thinkers & Thought QuizA 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 rationalism?
Rationalism is the attitude in which religious faith has to justify itself at the bar of reason before it can be accepted.
Rationalism is the attitude that logic is at the base of all of Godís actions.
Rationalism is the attitude in which rational actions are examined and proved to be ultimately hypocritical.
Rationalism is the intensely personal philosophy in which the individual responds not to a philosophical system, which she surveys from the outside, but to what is true for her.
Question 2. Saadiah Gaon wrote a translation of the Bible in what language?
Question 3. 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 4. Which Jewish philosopher was sometimes known as the rabbi of Theresienstadt?
Abraham Joshua Heschel
Menachem Mendel Schneerson
Question 5. Which of these groups was NOT labeled heretic?
The Sephardic Jews in North Africa
Question 6. Gersonides was not
Question 7. Which of the following philosophers was about to convert to Christianity, but decided to attend synagogue before he left Judaism, and was so inspired by the Yom Kippur service he attended, that he ultimately became a strong advocate of Judaism for Jews, and Christianity for Christians?
Question 8. True or false: Aristotle is never mentioned in the Talmud.
Question 9. 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 10. Which Jewish philosopher wrote The Lonely Man of Faith?
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein
Rabbi Joseph Caro
Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik