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. 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 2. True or false: In traditional synagogues, Simchat Torah is the only time that the Torah is read at night.
 True
 False

 

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. 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 5. On Simchat Torah children
 Are given an aliyah
 Wave flags
 Dance with the Torah
 All of the above

 

Question 6. On Simchat Torah, what are the circles made while holding the Torah and dancing around the synagogue called?
 Hoshanot
 Bedekin
 Neilah
 Hakafot

 

Question 7. In recent times, how have synagogues made Simchat Torah a very "child-friendly" holiday?
 Giving out candy to children
 Inviting all the children up for a group aliyah 
 Giving out flags to children
 All of the above

 

Question 8. What is Vezot HaBerakhah?
 The end of Deuteronomy
 The beginning of the Torah
 The blessing said over the Torah after it is finished
 The blessing said over the Torah before the first aliyah

 

Question 9. On Simchat Torah it is customary to eat foods that are
 Scopped
 Rolled
 Dipped
 Raw

 

Question 10. What title is given to the last person to receive an aliyah from the end of the Torah on Simchat Torah?
 Hatan Torah/Kallat HaTorah
 Kol ha-ne'arim
 Hakafah
 Hatan Bereshit/Kallat Bereshit