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. 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

 

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

 

Question 4. 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 5. Which Jewish philosopher wrote The Lonely Man of Faith?
 Rabbi Moshe Feinstein
 Isaac Abrabanel
 Rabbi Joseph Caro
 Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik

 

Question 6. 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 7. Gersonides was not
 A talmudist
 A doctor
 A philosopher
 An astronomer

 

Question 8. 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 9. 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?
 Hermann Cohen
 Franz Rosenzweig
 E.E. Dessler
 Martin Buber

 

Question 10. A main goal of medieval Jewish thinkers was to reconcile Jewish thought with what philosophy?
 Roman
 Greek
 Arab
 Persian