Dear B’nai Shalom members, families, and friends:
Recently, a shul member asked me to share with the congregation’s bulletin readers a Jewish knowledge and information quiz that I included in the monthly B’nai Shalom bulletin a couple years ago. I have therefore prepared an updated version of that quiz, with a number of additional questions on additional areas of Jewish knowledge included. I hope you will the find the quiz informative and fun. Enjoy!
1. Which Shabbat is called Shabbat Shira (The Shabbat of song) and why?
2. In which two parshiyot do we find the reading of the Aseret HaDibrot (the Ten Commandments)?
3. In which two parshiyot do we find the long, frightening list of admonishing curses?
4. Before which holiday do we find Shabbat Shuva?
5. Before which holiday do we find Shabbat HaGadol?
6. On the Shabbat before which holiday do we read the maftir of “Zachor (Remember)?”
7. Once we are introduced to Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses) in the Torah chapters, which is the ONLY parshah in which Moshe’s name is NOT mentioned?
8. On which five days in the month of Elul do we NOT hear the sounding of the shofar?
9. On which two possible dates could we find the Fast of Esther?
10. Which is the only Hebrew month with TWO public fast days in it?
11. Which is the only holiday which begins in one month and ends in another?
12. What are the two reasons the month of Cheshvan is often referred to as Mar Cheshvan?
13. Which month BESIDES CHESHVAN, has no holidays or fast days in it?
14. During which ENTIRE MONTH do we NOT recite the prayer: Tachanun?
15. Which is the only month that is NOT announced with the prayer Birkat HaChodesh on the Shabbat prior to the first day of the month?
16. Which are the two only months than can have a variable number of days in them?
17. During a Hebrew leap year, what is added to the year?
18. How many times in a 19-year cycle will there be a Hebrew leap year?
19. What holiday – considered to be a separate Yom Tov of its own outside of Israel, does NOT exist in Israel as itsown, separate holiday?
20. What holiday bracha (blessing) is said precisely ten times a year, never more, never less?
21. How many brachot (blessings) are found in the daily recitation of the Shemonah Esrai, the silent Amidah?
22. How many brachot (blessings) are found in the SHABBAT morning recitation of the silent Amidah?
23. Which version of the silent Amidah is the longest version of that prayer?
24. How many brachot (blessings) are found in the Rosh Hashanah Musaf recitation of the silent Amidah?
25. How many brachot (blessings) are found in the Birkat HaMazon, the “Grace after Meals (the bentching)?”
1. The Shabbat of Parshat Beshallach which contains “Shirat Moshe al HaYam,” “The Song of Moses at the Red Sea.”
2. Parshat Yitro in Shemot (Exodus) and Parshat VaEtchanan in Devarim (Deuteronomy).
3. The “Toch’cha” (the Admonition) is found in Parshat Bechukotai in Vayikra (Leviticus) and in Parshat Kee Tavo in Devarim (Deuteronomy).
4. Before Yom Kippur.
5. Before Pesach.
7. Tetzaveh in Shemot (Exodus).
8. The four shabbatot in the month and the last day of the month.
9. Usually on the 13th of Adar (the day before Purim) but when Purim is on a Sunday, the fast is on the 11th of Adar.
10. The month of Tishrei contains Tzom Gedalyah (the Fast of Gedalyah) on the 3rd of Tishrei and Yom Kippur on the 10th of Tishrei.
11. Chanukah begins on the 25th of Kislev and ends in the month of Tevet.
12. Having no holidays or days of importance of its own, the month is called “mar” either for being embittered for the lack of holiday prominence or “Mar” as “Mr.” as a salutation of respect to provide the month with a dignity of its own.
13. Elul has no holidays, festivals, or fast days.
14. The Tachanun prayer is not said throughout the month of Nisan.
15. The beginning of the month of Tishrei is NOT announced in shul as it is not only the beginning of the month but the beginning of the new year.
16. The months of Cheshvan and Kislev can have either 29 or 30 days in them.
17. An entire month – the month of Adar Bet is added at the end of the calendar year.
18. There are seven leap years within a 19-year cycle.
19. The holiday of Simchat Torah — the day after Shemini Atzeret outside of Israel — does NOT exist as a separate, distinct holiday in Israel. The celebrating of completing and restarting the Torah reading cycle is included in the festivities of the holiday of Shemini Atzeret in Israel.
20. The bracha of: “…She-asah nissim la-avoteinu bayamim ha-hem, bazman hazeh” is said each of the eight nights of Chanukah and twice on Purim (prior to the evening Megillah reading and prior to the morning Megillah reading), for a total of ten total recitations.
21. There are 19 brachot (blessings) included in the daily recitation of the silent Amidah. The name: “Shemonah Esrai” means “18” for the ORIGINAL eighteen blessings of the prayer to which was added an additional blessing: “V’lamalshinim…,” later added to the middle of the Amidah.
22. There are 7 brachot (blessings) included in the Shabbat morning recitation of the silent Amidah.
23. The Rosh Hashanah Musaf Amidah is the longest recitation of the silent Amidah.
24. In spite of the fact that the Rosh Hashanah Musaf Amidah is the longest version of the Amidah, it has only nine brachot (blessings) in it.
25. There are four brachot recited in the full Birkat HaMazon, the “Grace After Meals.”
With Torah blessings,
Rabbi Dr. Yaacov Dvorin