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 the following philosophers was excommunicated from his Jewish community?
 Saadia Gaon
 Baruch Spinoza


Question 2. A main goal of medieval Jewish thinkers was to reconcile Jewish thought with what philosophy?


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 wrote The Lonely Man of Faith?
 Rabbi Moshe Feinstein
 Isaac Abrabanel
 Rabbi Joseph Caro
 Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik


Question 5. When Joseph Soloveitchik moved to the United States, he became Chief Rabbi of the Orthodox community in what city?
 New York


Question 6. 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 7. 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 8. According to E. E. Dessler the best way to understand God is to
 Do works of lovingkindness
 Study Torah
 Work for a Jewish organization
 Fast and immerse oneself in Kabbalah


Question 9. In Jerusalem, or On Religious Power and Judaism, Moses Mendelssohn argued that
 Jews should move to Israel
 Judaism is constant with values of the Enlightenment
 Judaism was all but dead
 Jews should convert to Christianity


Question 10. Leo Baeck's The Essence of Judaism was written in response to
 Adolf von Harnack's Essence of Christianity
 Baruch Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico Politicus
 Franz Rosenzweig's The Star of Redemption
 Martin Buber's For the Sake of Heaven