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


Question 2. 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 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. True or False: Medieval Jewish Philosophers were averse to ever citing the work or theories of non-Jewish philosophers.


Question 5. 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 6. Saadiah Gaon wrote a translation of the Bible in what language?


Question 7. When Joseph Soloveitchik moved to the United States, he became Chief Rabbi of the Orthodox community in what city?
 New York


Question 8. 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 9. Who came up with the concept of I-Thou?
 Martin Buber
 Abraham Joshua Heschel
 Mordecai Kaplan
 Franz Rosenzweig


Question 10. Which of the following philosophers was excommunicated from his Jewish community?
 Saadia Gaon
 Baruch Spinoza