My Jewish Learning

Death and Mourning Quiz

What are the history and practical aspects of Jewish bereavement?

Question 1. How is suicide treated in Jewish tradition?
 The bible directly prohibits suicide
 There is no mention of suicide in the bible or Talmud
 There is a reference to the prohibition of suicide in the Talmud, but not in the bible
 The bible treats suicide as an unfortunate, but ultimately permissible, action


Question 2. When might Jewish law permit autopsies?
 When the law of the land requires it
 When an autopsy can help cure a disease for others in the future
 Both B & C


Question 3. After tearing their clothing, what Hebrew phrase do Jewish mourners say?
 Mah Tovu Ohalekha Ya'akov
 Modeh Ani L'fanekha
 Baruch Dayan HaEmet
 Adon Olam


Question 4. How long is it customary to recite kaddish after the death of a parent?
 One month
 Six months
 11 months
 However long feels right to the mourner


Question 5. When is the El Maleh Rahamim ("God full of compassion") prayer traditionally said?
 Immediately upon hearing the news of someone's death
 Before visitors say goodbye to the mourners at a shiva
 At a burial
 All of the above


Question 6. How many Jews are required to be present during the recitation of the Mourner's Kaddish?


Question 7. Jews traditionally recite the viddui (confession) before they die and
 On Yom Kippur
 At the Passover seder
 After healing from a life-threatening illness
 After their bar/bat mitzvah


Question 8. Traditionally, if a bride or groom suffers the loss of parent within the 30 days leading up to the wedding, the wedding is to be:
 Postponed until after sheloshim, the first 30 days of mourning
 Postponed until after the full 12-month mourning period required for a parent
 Held on the original date, but with restrictions on the joyousness of the event
 Held on the original date with no restrictions on the joyousness of the event


Question 9. What is potentially problematic about wills?
 According to Jewish law contracts cannot be enforced after one's death
 A will might go against the biblical laws of inheritance
 Jewish law requires one to donate all his/her assets to charity before death
 According to Judaism everything belongs to God so nothing can be given away


Question 10. According to tradition, what do Jews do to initiate the mourning period?
 They get down on their knees and cry
 They tear their clothing
 They give money to charity
 They eat a meal