My Jewish Learning

Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah Quiz

At the end of Sukkot, we celebrate the completion of the annual Torah reading cycle. How much do you know about Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah?



Question 1. True or false: Shemini Atzeret is a one-day festival in traditional Diaspora communities and a two-day holiday in Israel and in many liberal Diaspora communities.
 True
 False

 

Question 2. The commandment to observe the Eighth Day of Assembly, Shemini Atzeret, comes from
 The Torah
 The Mishnah
 The Mishneh Torah
 The Zohar

 

Question 3. When did the Simchat Torah tradition of reading the final Torah portion of the previous year and the first Torah portion of the next year begin?
 Biblical times
 Talmudic times
 Medieval times
 The Haskalah, the Jewish Enlightenment

 

Question 4. How did the rabbis in the Talmud interpret Leviticus 23:36, “The eighth day you shall observe a sacred occasion (atzeret) and bring an offering by fire to the Lord”?
 God finds it difficult to part with the Jews who have been so actively involved in seven days of celebration
 God asks the Jews to “tarry” a little longer and continue to celebrate
 This holiday is a celebration of the close relationship between God and the people of Israel
 All of the above

 

Question 5. What do the circles around the synagogue on Simchat Torah represent, according to kabbalist tradition?
 The seven days of Sukkot
 The seven sephirot (emanations of God)
 The seven days of the week
 A & B
 B & C

 

Question 6. Where is the haftarah for Simchat Torah chanted from?
 The Book of Joshua
 The Book of Daniel
 The Book of Ezra
 The Book of Esther

 

Question 7. On Shemini Atzeret a short prayer for rain is inserted into the second blessing of the Amidah. This prayer for rain continues to be recited in the Amidah until when?
 Passover
 Hanukkah
 The first day of Spring
 After Simchat Torah

 

Question 8. The Prayer for Rain recited on Shemini Atzeret is parallel to
 The Prayer for Dew recited on Passover
 The Prayer for Heat Recited on Shavuot
 The Prayer for Food recited every Rosh Chodesh
 Kol Nidrei

 

Question 9. True or False: On Simchat Torah we circle the synagogue with the Torahs and our lulav and etrogs.
 True
 False

 

Question 10. The origin of Simchat Torah can be found in
 The Torah
 The Mishnah
 The Kabbalah
 Communities outside Israel after the 9th century