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. 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 2. Emmanuel Levinas published works in Les Temps Modernes--the journal of which French philosopher?
 Albert Camus
 Jean-Paul Sartre
 Simone de Beauvoir
 Michel Foucault

 

Question 3. Which Jewish philosopher was sometimes known as the rabbi of Theresienstadt?
 Martin Buber
 Abraham Joshua Heschel
 Menachem Mendel Schneerson
 Leo Baeck

 

Question 4. 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 5. A main goal of medieval Jewish thinkers was to reconcile Jewish thought with what philosophy?
 Roman
 Greek
 Arab
 Persian

 

Question 6. 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 7. In religious existentialism the believer adopts monotheism because
 He has seen absolute proof of a single God
 Through a leap of faith
 He understands that he is just a speck in the vastness of the universe
 He has been told to at Sunday school

 

Question 8. Gersonides was not
 A talmudist
 A doctor
 A philosopher
 An astronomer

 

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

 

Question 10. Which of these Jewish thinkers identified as an Orthodox Jew?
 Philo
 Maimonides
 A.J. Heschel
 Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson