My Jewish Learning

Minor Fasts Quiz

The four minor fasts on the Jewish calendar commemorate tragedies in Jewish history such as the murder of Gedaliah, the Jewish governor of Judah, and the breach of the walls around Jerusalem in 70 CE. How much do you know about these days?

Question 1. Which of the following is a traditional custom associated with minor fast days?
 Giving an additional amount of tzedakah, or charity
 Not performing work
 Staying up all night
 Not wearing leather shoes


Question 2. What anniversary does the Tenth of Tevet mark?
 The birthday of Nebuchadnezzar, the tyrant who exiled the Jews
 The beginning of the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem
 The day before the first Passover offering
 The day that the walls of Jerusalem were breached


Question 3. Which fast day only applies to certain people?
 Tenth of Tevet
 Fast of the Firstborn
 Fast of Esther
 Yom Kippur


Question 4. If someone voluntarily fasts on Shabbat, what is the penalty according to Jewish law?
 Bringing a sacrifice to the Temple
 Fasting another day
 Reciting psalms
 Reciting the al-het prayer and banging one's fist against one's chest


Question 5. Minor fasts last from...
 Sunset the evening before to the following sunset
 Sunrise to sunset
 From 9 am to 5 pm
 From Shema during Shaharit to Shema during Maariv
 Sunrise to sunrise the next day


Question 6. How can a firstborn son get out of his obligation to fast on Erev Pesach?
 Attend a "siyyum," or conclusion, of a book of Talmud being read
 Sleep in
 Eat matzah for an extra day
 None of these


Question 7. Which is not a reason to hold a personal fast?
 The death of a close relative
 Forgetting to fast on a public fast day
 Asking forgiveness from God
 A bad dream