World Religions: Western Traditions: Chapter 3

Instructions: For each question, click on the radio button beside your answer. When you have completed the entire quiz, click the 'Submit my answers' button at the bottom of the page to receive your results.

Question 1:


a) untrimmed sidelocks of hair
b) the wooden stand used to hold the Torah scroll
c) the minimum number of believers necessary to hold group prayers
d) the schoolhouse wherein youth receive a traditional education in Hebrew

Question 2:


a) a cultural identity
b) a religious identity
c) an ethnic/racial identity
d) A and b only.

Question 3:


a) The Bible puts forward a single, cohesive creation narrative.
b) God created the world from primordial chaos, in a fashion similar to the creation narratives in Mesopotamian, Greek, and Egyptian religion.
c) Some later books of the Bible amend/question the vision of creation described in Genesis.
d) Genesis includes two creation narratives: one of which describes the creation of men and women as a simultaneous occurrence, the other that describes the creation of woman as subsidiary to the creation of man.

Question 4:


a) Noah
b) Abraham
c) Moses
d) Joshua

Question 5:


a) This divine name literally describes the role of God in the process of creation: ‘He who causes to be.’
b) This divine name literally describes God’s role in the universe: ‘He who rules the skies.’
c) It is not written in full in order to respect the commandment not to take God’s name in vain.
d) Among some modern Jews, even this abbreviation is avoided.

Question 6:


a) Noah to Abraham to Joseph to Moses
b) Genesis to Exodus to Joshua to Judges
c) Saul to David to Solomon
d) Flight from Egypt to Charismatic rule by the Judges to Founding of the Israelite kingdom to Conquest of Canaan

Question 7:


a) Many crimes were punishable by death or mutilation.
b) Creditors were permitted to enslave debtors for a fixed term, based on the amount owed.
c) Israelite myths often describe God granting offspring to barren women as a means of showing His continued power to intervene in human history.
d) Marriage was understood as a contract between one man and one woman.

Question 8:


a) The majority of prophets were functionaries of the state, employed by the rulers of the kingdom.
b) The prophets, like their predecessors in the civilizations of antiquity, made use of intoxicants in preparing themselves to receive divine revelation.
c) The vast majority of prophets bore a single message to the people of Israel: they were falling away from God’s teaching and would be punished.
d) The period of the major prophets dates back to the founding of the Davidic monarchy (~ 1000 BCE).

Question 9:


a) It reinforced the importance of the sacrificial tradition, leading to the construction of many subsidiary temples.
b) It represented the transition of Judaism from a historically localized religion to the religion of a geographically dispersed people.
c) It led many Jews to a crisis of faith because it appeared to call into question the power and influence of YHWH.
d) It led to a universalization of the Jewish message, to the extent that a Persian emperor (Cyrus) was himself seen as an instrument of YHWH’s will.

Question 10:


a) Sadducees
b) Pharisees
c) Essenes
d) Zealots

Question 11:


a) Deceased souls continued to exist as pale shadows of their living selves in a dark pit know as Sheol.
b) The righteous will be rewarded for their service to God by being resurrected to dwell in an eternal paradise.
c) Death represents the ultimate end-point of existence. Nothing survives.
d) Since the question of whether the soul survives death is unanswered, the most important form of immortality is through one’s descendents.

Question 12:


a) king
b) annointed one
c) servant (of God)
d) prophesied one

Question 13:


a) The term ‘synagogue’ originally referred to the congregation itself, rather than to the physical building that housed them.
b) Synagogue worship became tremendously important after the fall of the Second Temple, as this event spelled the end of priestly sacrifice.
c) Observant Jews are only permitted to offer prayers and study the Torah within the synagogue. Other locations are ritually impure.
d) Synagogues contain elaborate wooden ‘arks’ to house their Torah Scrolls.

Question 14:


a) The Torah (the ‘Law’)
b) The Nebi’im (the ‘Prophets’)
c) The Hokmah (the ‘Wisdom’)
d) The Ketuvim (the ‘Writings’)

Question 15:


a) The term ‘mishnah’ literally means ‘interpretation’ or ‘commentary.’
b) The Mishnah is a commentary on important principles found originally in the Talmud.
c) The contents of the Mishnah are primarily homiletical in nature.
d) The Mishnah represents the first authoritative collection of rabbinical opinions on law.

Question 16:


a) the Five Books of Moses
b) the entire Hebrew Bible (Tanakh)
c) the entire Hebrew Bible and all relevant commentaries (Mishnah, Talmud, etc.)
d) the entire Hebrew Bible, all relevant commentaries, and all later mystical literature (especially the Zohar)

Question 17:


a) the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal)
b) Eastern Europe
c) the Middle East and Northern Africa
d) the Far East (India and China)

Question 18:


a) Saadia
b) Yehuda Ha-Levi
c) Maimonides
d) Israel ben Eliezer

Question 19:


a) His most influential philosophical text, the Guide for the Perplexed, was originally written in Arabic.
b) His philosophical perspective was based on the tenets of Neo-Platonism.
c) He argued that God created the universe through thought, and that it continues to exist only due to the continued thought of God.
d) His perspective on Judaism suggested that rationality and religious adherence are inherently (and inextricably) compatible.

Question 20:


a) visiting the throne room of the Divine in an ecstatic state
b) aligning the spherot (‘countings’ or emanations) of the Divine through meditation and ritual
c) being subsumed in the formlessness of God (En Sof, lit. ‘without end’)
d) recognizing the divine spark in all sentient beings

Question 21:


a) Moses ben Shemtov of León
b) Isaac Luria
c) Israel ben Eliezer
d) Sabbatai Zvi

Question 22:


a) It is not sufficient simply to pray; instead, one must approach prayer with a properly reverential attitude.
b) Jews are required by the Torah to pray five separate times per day.
c) It is considered impermissible to pray for any form of Divine favor that would lead to the harm of another (whether directly or indirectly).
d) Many prayers conclude with the Hebrew word ‘amen’ (lit., ‘so be it).

Question 23:


a) For a butchered animal to be labeled ‘kosher,’ all blood must be drained from the meat.
b) Shellfish and any other form of marine life without both scales and fins are not considered to be kosher.
c) It is prohibited to combine meat and milk.
d) All observant Jews follow the kashrut (Jewish dietary laws), as they are seen as a principal hallmark of Jewish identity.

Question 24:


a) Yom Kippur
b) Hanukkah
c) Sukkoth
d) Purim

Question 25:


a) It commemorates the Exodus from Egypt.
b) It was first celebrated in the Hellenistic period (second century BCE).
c) It features a special meal and a narrative recounting the Exodus.
d) All food for the Passover meal (seder) must be prepared on newly cleaned kitchen equipment.

Question 26:


a) Birth: performing the correct prayers during the mohel’s circumcision of the infant.
b) Bar Mitzvah: studying Hebrew in preparation for reading publicly from the Torah scroll.
c) Divorce: meeting to discuss suitable financial compensation for the wife.
d) Death: mourning for seven days and receiving visitors who wish to pay their respects.

Question 27:


a) Male circumcision
b) Acceptance of the laws
c) Knowlegde of Hebrew
d) Ritual immersion (baptism)

Question 28:


a) Judaism is no impediment to full participation in European social/intellectual life.
b) Being Jewish is an ethnic identity that transcends the bounds of European citizenship.
c) Jewish law and doctrine are fundamentally incompatible with secular European philosophy.
d) While Jews could permissibly integrate into European society, doing so would lead to the dissolution of the community.

Question 29:


a) Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch
b) Martin Buber
c) Franz Rosenzweig
d) Mordecai Kaplan

Question 30:


a) Founding a Zionist state would require a revival of the Hebrew language.
b) The new Zion could function as an idealized social experiment.
c) The formation of a distinct Jewish state was the only solution to the problem of European anti-Semitism.
d) The legitimate formation of a Zionist state would need to be preceded by the arrival of the Messiah (as foretold in Jewish scripture).