Quiz 6: General Jewish knowledge

Take our quiz on the Jewish world of the past, present and future. Let’s see how high you score.

1. Who is said to have been the first Jewish person?

A. Moses

B. Abraham

C. Noah

D. Joseph

Answer: B
The first Jew in the world is said to have been Abraham, father of Isaac and Ishmael, the 10th generation from Noah and born in 2018 BC, some 352 years after the Flood. However, there is nothing in the Bible that either confirms or denies this.

2. Which country has the fastest growing Jewish community in the world?

A. England

B. Germany

C. Israel

D. Australia

Answer: B
There are some 108,000 Jewish residents living in Germany, according to the Federal Statistical Office (2006 figures are most recent available); Berlin’s Jewish community is the largest in the country.

3. The holiest accessible Jewish site in Israel is...

A. the Belz Great Synagogue

B. the Western Wall

C. the Temple Mount

D. the Dead Sea Scrolls, housed in the Shrine of the Book in the Israeli Museum

Answer: B
The Western Wall in Jerusalem, built in Roman style by King Herod in 20 BC, is classed as the holiest of Jewish sites. It is so because it is a remnant of the Herodian retaining wall that once enclosed and supported the Second Temple.

4. The Jewish year...

A. is exactly the same length as the normal secular year

B. is 12 months long but with an addition

C. also puts the clocks forward and backwards once a year

D. is named similar to the Chinese year and designated with one of the names of the 12 tribes of Israel on a 12-year cycle

Answer: B
The Jewish lunar year does have 12 months, but these are of either 29 or 30 days each, which results in a 354-day year. To ensure the same Jewish festivals fall in the same season every year, an additional month (called 'Adar 2') is added seven times in every 19 years to make up the difference.

5. A Jewish month begins with...

A. a celebration in the form of a minor Jewish festival

B. each new moon

C. a special oration by the Rabbi in the synagogue

D. absolutely no pomp or ceremony

Answer: B
Because the Jewish calendar is based on the lunar cycle, each Jewish month begins with the new moon. This is called the Rosh Khodesh (Head of the Month). Rosh Khodesh was once a major holiday in biblical times, but was downgraded to a minor holiday and is no longer generally recognised. However, there are extra lines that acknowledge the new moon in some prayers around the time of the new month.

6. The Dead Sea Scrolls are...

A. important historical, religious and linguistic texts

B. ancient maps of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt

C. special reed beds for lying by the side of the Dead Sea for spa treatment

D. a form of ancient Jewish tattoo art

Answer: A
The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered between 1946 and 1956 at Khirbet Qumran on the West Bank. They were found inside caves about a mile inland from the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, hence their name. The texts are written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Nabataean, mainly on parchment, but some were written on papyrus and bronze. They are housed in the Shrine of the Book at the Israeli Museum, Jerusalem.

7. Whereas some religions have changed after many thousands of years, the Laws of Judaism haven't changed at all. This is because Judaism is....

A. creed-based

B. belief-based

C. faith-based

D. under Rabbinical instruction that has never wavered over the centuries

Answer: B
Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world. The sacred text, the Hebrew Bible, teaches several doctrines—such as those about God, the Messiah, human beings and the universe—making beliefs very important to Jews. Judaism has no official creed, however.

Listen to this page: