Jewish Trivia Quiz

from RASHI, RAMBAM and RAMALAMADINGDONG: A Quizbook of Jewish Trivia Facts & Fun by New Orleans native Mark Zimmerman

Shavuot

What book is read on Shavuot?

Moses receiving the Ten Commandments

A. The Book of Lamentations.

B. The Book of Ecclesiastes.

C. The Book of Esther.

D. The Book of Ruth.

E. The Weekly Reader.

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Yom Yerushalayim

What takes place during religious services on Yom Yerushalayim in Israel?

Jerusalem

A. Hallel and the longer Shabbat/Yom Tov version of the Pesukei D'Zimra prayers are added to the regular service.

B. Hallel is added to the regular service and the shofar is sounded.

C. Hallel and Shechecheyanu are added to the regular service.

D. Nothing, as Yom Yerushalayim is a secular Israeli holiday.

E. No one knows because everyone is spending the holiday enjoying the sales at the malls.

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Lag B’Omer

Which of the following are all customs associated with Lag B’Omer?

Bow and Arrow

APlanting spring flowers, organizing children's parades, and lighting bonfires.

BPlaying with a bow and arrow, listening to live music, and making a pilgrimage to the tomb of Rabbi Mencahem Mendel Schneerson, the former Lubavitcher Rebbe.

CDonating 13 gallons of liquid refreshment, getting married, and giving 3-year-old boys their first haircut.

DGiving 3-year-old boys their first haircut, singing the song Bar Yochai, and planting spring flowers.

EShooting your enemies with a bow and arrow, cutting their hair, and throwing their furniture into a bonfire.

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Mother’s Day

How did the Israeli Mother's Day holiday begin?

Happy Mother's Day

A. A 9-year-old girl named Rachel Golan wrote a letter to the Yedioth Achronot newspaper suggesting the creation of a Mother's Day holiday in honor of Eve, the first mother in the Bible.

B. An 11-year-old girl named Nechama Biedermann wrote a letter to the Haaretz newspaper suggesting the creation of a Mother's Day holiday in honor of Henrietta Szold, who was a leader in the Youth Aliyah movement.

C. A 13-year-old girl named Yehudit Shahar wrote a letter to the Maariv newspaper suggesting the creation of a Mother's Day holiday in honor of Golda Meir, considered by many to be the "First Mother" of Israel.

D. A 12-year-old girl named Shulamit Cohen wrote a letter to the Jerusalem Post newspaper suggesting the creation of a Mother's Day holiday in honor of her mother, who had fought and died in the Israeli War of Independence in 1948.

E. An 8-year-old girl named Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the Sun newspaper asking if Mother’s Day really existed, and received a response saying, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Mother's Day.”

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Yom Ha’atzmaut

Sorry - missed the usual Monday posting (on vacation), but didn’t want to let Israel’s Independence Day pass without notice!

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Who fought in Israel's War of Independence, and later went on to fame using scissors?

Scissors

A. Tailor Levi Strauss.

B. Hedge trimmer Edward Scissorhands.

C. Seamstress and fashion designer Elie Tahari.

D. Hairdresser Vidal Sassoon.

E. Mohel Shmuley Grubnick.

Click here for the answer.

Popes

What important role did Angelo Roncalli play in Catholic-Jewish relations?

Pope John Paul ll

A. As Pope Paul VI, he was the first pope to visit Israel, where he met with President Zalman Shazar in 1964.

B. As a priest he was instrumental in efforts to save Jews during the Holocaust, and later, as Pope John XXIII he oversaw the Second Vatican Council, which among other things repudiated the belief that Jews were collectively responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus.

C. When diplomatic relations were established between Israel and the Vatican in 1993, Pope John Paul II appointed him as the first Apostolic Nuncio (similar to ambassador) to Israel.

D. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as special Vatican nuncio (ambassador) to Israel in 2010. In April of that year he successfully intervened with the Italian Barilla Pasta Company to urge them not to drop their Kashrut certification, enabling Israeli Jews to end Passover with their traditional "Spaghetti Night Out" celebration.

E. As Pope John Paul II, he became the first pope to visit a synagogue, when in 1986 he made an unexpected visit to the Great Synagogue of Rome and prayed with Rabbi Elio Toaff, former Chief Rabbi of Rome.

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Happy Easter

Which symbol of Easter has its roots in Judaism?

Easter bunny

A. The Easter sunrise service. This tradition evolved from the Haggadah reference to the rabbis at B'nei Brak "telling about the outgoing from Egypt during the whole of that Passover night, till their pupils came and said to them: Our teachers, the time has arrived for the recitation of the morning Sh'ma.”

B. Easter eggs. This symbol evolved from the placement of a roasted egg on the seder plate as a symbol of the korban chagigah, the festival sacrifice, also a symbol of mourning. In Christian theology, this refers to the mourning for the crucifixion of Jesus.

CThe Easter Bunny. This symbol derives from the reference in the Haggadah to the Rabbis who held a seder at B'nei Brak. A printing error in the Gutenberg Bible referred to the Rabbits at B'nei Brak, eventually morphing into the Easter Rabbits, and then Easter Bunnies.

DEaster parade. The Coptic Orthodox community in Egypt held an annual reenactment of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, which later evolved into the current tradition of parading in garish hats.

EThe Easter lamb. This references the z'roah, the shankbone, which symbolizes the Korban Pesach, or the Passover sacrifice of a lamb in the Temple. In Christian theology, this has been reinterpreted to refer to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

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Matzobrau

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Matzobrau, a beer made from matzah, was described how in Bon Appetit magazine?

Beer mug

ADark beer with that unmistakable toasty note of the bread of affliction.

B. Tastes great, more binding.

C. The Manischewitz of bottled beers.

D. The beer that made Monsey famous.

E. Okay, Jewish people. Can't you just wait one week and drink a real beer after Passover?

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Passover in WWII

In 1945, what did the National Jewish Welfare Board do at Passover time for soldiers serving in the military?

Soldier

A. They arranged for the Armed Forces Radio Network to broadcast recordings of Passover songs, including The Four Questions by Sammy Davis, Jr., and Let My People Go by Artie Shaw.

B. They arranged to send matzah which was baked in the shape of a "V" for “Victory."

C. They provided Kosher for Passover KP-rations which included freeze-dried matzah balls.

D. They provided Passover Haggadahs which included a special Dayenu section, including statements such as "Had he given us victory at the Battle of the Bulge but not enabled us to conquer our foes in the Philippines, Dayenu.”

E. They provided a salami for every boy in the army (and yes, if you say this right, it does rhyme).

Click here for the answer.


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Spanish Jews

What is Spain offering to the 3.5 million descendants of Sephardic Jews who were expelled during the Spanish Inquisition?

Map of Spain

A. Autographed pictures of Penélope Cruz.

BFinancial reparations.

CCitizenship.

DAn official apolopgy for the Inquisition, authorized by the Congress of Deputies and signed by King Juan Carlos.

EFree tickets to Real Madrid soccer games.

Click here for the answer.