My Jewish Learning

Jewish Prayer Quiz

Jewish prayer has evolved from scattered supplications in the Bible to a vast, codified tradition today. How much do you know about Jewish prayer, synagogues, rabbis, and liturgy?

Question 1. What is a hazzan?
 The spiritual leader of a synagogue
 The cantor
 The educational director
 All of the above
 None of the above


Question 2. Why did regular communal Jewish prayer begin in post-Temple times?
 To substitute for the daily offerings at the Temple
 Because the priests felt that the Jewish people were becoming distant and sinful
 Because people felt that sacrificing animals was cruel and unnecessary
 To give people a way to mourn the loss of the Temple


Question 3. Which of these is not a garment worn for Jewish prayer?


Question 4. There is a Jewish tradition to say how many blessings, or brakhot, a day?
 At least one.


Question 5. What can the study of Jewish prayer teach us?
 Anthropology of the Jews, since prayers vary according to local customs, ethnic origins, and ideologies
 History of the Jews, since prayers come from different times and places
 Jewish theology
 All of these


Question 6. True or false: According to traditional halakhah, women are exempt from the obligation to wear a tallit.


Question 7. What is a niggun?
 A wordless melody
 A musical motif that is utilized in various combinations when chanting prayers
 The specific tune for chanting the Torah
 Selections from Psalms, sung on Friday night