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Quiz about Name that Jewish Holiday By the Symbols
Quiz about Name that Jewish Holiday By the Symbols

Name that Jewish Holiday... By the Symbols! Quiz


Oh no! I just got to synagogue, and I completely forgot which holiday it is! Can you help me? Each Jewish holiday has its own symbols and rituals. How well do you know them? NOTE: This quiz refers to Ashkenazic observance and customs.

A multiple-choice quiz by Smurphie. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
Smurphie
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
256,973
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
4749
Awards
Editor's Choice
Last 3 plays: Guest 110 (9/10), gogetem (6/10), doh1 (8/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. I walk in and see tables set for a meal. There is a plate with three Matzot, a wine goblet marked for the prophet Elijah, and a large platter with a bunch of symbols on it. One of them is labeled "Beitzah". Which holiday am I celebrating tonight? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. I walk into the sanctuary for services on Erev Shabbat, and in addition to the two regular candlesticks, there is a special Nine-Pronged Menorah which the congregation is getting ready to light. After the service, at the Oneg (reception), it seems like all of the food has been fried in oil, and there are Dreidels all around the room. In addition to Shabbat, which holiday is happening at the moment? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Oh, I do love the sound of the Shofar. There was a whole service dedicated to it today! Afterwards, I sat down with my friends and family for a wonderful snack of round challah and apples with honey. Hmmm, I remember not going in to work this morning so I could be at the synagogue... but which holiday is it? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Good thing I have ten fingers to keep track! This morning in services, the congregation stood for the reading of the Parasha (Torah portion) where Moses and the Israelites receive the Ten Commandments and then sat down and listened to the recitation of the Book of Ruth. Last night I stayed up all night studying and eating dairy foods. Which holiday am I observing? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. I wish I could remember which holiday this is... it's so much fun! Let me give you the run-down: I arrived at synagogue in a silly costume, and was handed something that the person next to me called a graggor. I then went inside and heard a very fast yet animated reading of the Megilat Esther (Book of Esther). On my way out, everyone was acting really crazy and eating something called hamentashen. What is the name of this crazy and upside-down holiday?

Answer: (One Word)
Question 6 of 10
6. I walk into the synagogue and, although the snow is still melting here in Philadelphia, the building is adorned with beautiful flowers and blossoms. I sit down at a table in the social hall and in front of me are four plates, each with a different variety of fruits or nuts. What sort of a Seder am I attending? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. My friend Michael got married last year, and now he is sitting next to me in synagogue praying in the white Kittel that he wore on his wedding day. Also, looking around, everyone is very somber and praying either in his stockings, or in non-leather shoes. Which holiday is this? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. The synagogue has a very somber feel today. Many people are sitting on the floor or on low benches and are listening to the chanting of Megilat Eicha (Book of Lamentations). What holiday is this? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Wow, this is a holiday that I actually recognize. It is the booth festival of Sukkot. During the course of this week, I plan on resting in an outdoor temporary hut where I will also eat meals and recite special blessings while shaking my lulav and etrog. One other thing that I know about Sukkot is that, while it is an agricultural holiday, it is not one of the three pilgrimage festivals. Is this last statement true or false?


Question 10 of 10
10. I come home from synagogue in the evening to find my dining room table set with a glass of wine, two braided loaves of challah, and two candles, which I must have lit earlier, but can't seem to recall... what holiday is it? Hint



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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. I walk in and see tables set for a meal. There is a plate with three Matzot, a wine goblet marked for the prophet Elijah, and a large platter with a bunch of symbols on it. One of them is labeled "Beitzah". Which holiday am I celebrating tonight?

Answer: Pesach

Pesach (or Passover) is one of the three pilgrimage festivals in the Jewish holiday cycle. Each year, contemporary Jews recount/retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt. The symbols described are, (1) Matzot (plural of Matzah) which are the "bread of affliction".

They represent the bread that did not have time to rise as the Israelite slaves left Egypt. (2) Elijah's cup is a glass of wine left on the Seder table for the prophet Elijah who, it is told, will be the forerunner of the Messiah. (3) Beitzah is the roasted egg found on the central seder plate.

It is a symbol of spring-time and renewal that is associated with the Pesach Seders.
2. I walk into the sanctuary for services on Erev Shabbat, and in addition to the two regular candlesticks, there is a special Nine-Pronged Menorah which the congregation is getting ready to light. After the service, at the Oneg (reception), it seems like all of the food has been fried in oil, and there are Dreidels all around the room. In addition to Shabbat, which holiday is happening at the moment?

Answer: Chanukkah

Chanukkah is the festival of lights. It starts on the 25th day of the month of Kislev, and commemorates the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem. In observance of this festival, we use a (1) Nine-Pronged Menorah (also called a Channukiah) which represents the miracle of the oil that lasted for eight days--long enough to rededicate the Temple. Each night, the central candle (the shamash, or helper candle) is lit, and used to light the candle(s) that represent that night. From right to left, we light one additional on the first night, two on the second night, and so on until all eight additional candles glow in our menorah on the final night of Chanukkah. (2) Oil is used on Chanukkah for the same reason as above, and is an important symbol of this holiday. We play with the (3) Dreidel, a spinning top, in order to remember the miracle of Chanukkah. Dreidels bear the letters nun-gimel-hey-shin, which are an acronym for "Nes Gadol Hayah Sham" (A great miracle happened there).

In Israel, the letter peh--standing for "Po" (here)-- replaces the letter shin--standing for "Sham" (there)-- making the phrase read, "A great miracle happened HERE."
3. Oh, I do love the sound of the Shofar. There was a whole service dedicated to it today! Afterwards, I sat down with my friends and family for a wonderful snack of round challah and apples with honey. Hmmm, I remember not going in to work this morning so I could be at the synagogue... but which holiday is it?

Answer: Rosh Hashana

Rosh Hashana is the Jewish New Year. On Rosh Hashana, we eat (1) apples and honey and (2) a round challah to symbolize the cycle of the year as well as our wish for a year of sweetness. We also blow the (2) Shofar, a trumpet-like instrument made from a ram's horn. The shofar is used to make the traditional calls during the festival services.
4. Good thing I have ten fingers to keep track! This morning in services, the congregation stood for the reading of the Parasha (Torah portion) where Moses and the Israelites receive the Ten Commandments and then sat down and listened to the recitation of the Book of Ruth. Last night I stayed up all night studying and eating dairy foods. Which holiday am I observing?

Answer: Shavuot

Shavuot is one of the three Pilgrimage festivals of the Jewish holiday cycle. It commemorates the revelation of the Ten Commandments/ Torah at Mt. Sinai. In synagogue, we read the (1) 10 Commandments which, according to tradition, were revealed at Mt. Sinai on Shavuot. We also read (2) Book of Ruth is a traditional reading for Shavuot morning. Additionally it is customary to eat blintzes, cheese cake, and other (3) dairy foods on Shavuot. One explanation is that this is a commemoration of what we ate shortly after receiving the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai.

In Mishnah Berurah (494:12) it says that when the Israelites received the Torah at Sinai, the 613 Mitzvot were, for the first time, binding. Since some of these commandments refer to kashrut (dietary laws), they could not consume the meat they had in the camp until it was properly slaughtered, prepared and cut.

They, therefore, ate only dairy in the meantime.
5. I wish I could remember which holiday this is... it's so much fun! Let me give you the run-down: I arrived at synagogue in a silly costume, and was handed something that the person next to me called a graggor. I then went inside and heard a very fast yet animated reading of the Megilat Esther (Book of Esther). On my way out, everyone was acting really crazy and eating something called hamentashen. What is the name of this crazy and upside-down holiday?

Answer: Purim

Purim is the celebration of the triumph of the Jews over Haman the Agagite according to the story of the book of Esther. We use a Graggor, ceremonial noise-maker, to blot out the name of Haman whenever we hear it. Because many Jewish holidays have special foods associated with them, we eat (2) Hamentashen, triangular cookies.

They are in the shape of Haman's three cornered hat, and are filled with various fruit jams, poppy seeds, and even chocolate. Annually, we also read the (3) Book of Esther each Purim.

This scroll recounts the triumph of the Jewish people over evil through the bravery of the young Jewish Queen of Persia. It is customary to hear this book read twice during the holiday.
6. I walk into the synagogue and, although the snow is still melting here in Philadelphia, the building is adorned with beautiful flowers and blossoms. I sit down at a table in the social hall and in front of me are four plates, each with a different variety of fruits or nuts. What sort of a Seder am I attending?

Answer: Tu B'Shevat

Tu B'Shevat, occasionally described as "the Jewish Arbor Day," is the new year for the trees. It corresponds with the time of first blooms in Israel. It is observed on the 15th day of the month of Shevat (approximately mid-February). It is customary to eat a meal of (1) fruits and (2) nuts from four different categories (having a hard inedible shell, having a pit, completely edible, and edible seeds). On Tu B'Shevat, it is also customary to plant trees either in Israel or in one's own neighborhood in order to bring new life into our world.

As an interesting tidbit (somewhat associated with Tu B'Shevat), according to the Jewish National Fund, Israel is the only country to end the twentieth century with more trees than it had at the beginning.
7. My friend Michael got married last year, and now he is sitting next to me in synagogue praying in the white Kittel that he wore on his wedding day. Also, looking around, everyone is very somber and praying either in his stockings, or in non-leather shoes. Which holiday is this?

Answer: Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is the day of atonement. It falls ten days after Rosh Hashana and is marked by a day of fasting and public prayer. As white is the color of purity, many married men wear a (1) white Kittel, traditional garment/burial shroud, on this day. Many also pray (2) barefoot or wearing non-leather shoes.

There are several reasons for this custom, here are two of them. First, in biblical times, one removed his shoes before entering a holy site. Since Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year, some people pray in their bare feet on this day. Second, as the day of atonement, Yom Kippur is a time when we separate ourselves from bodily pleasure and comfort.

As leather is a sign of wealth and comfort, many people will pray in canvas or rubber shoes, or in their bare feet.
8. The synagogue has a very somber feel today. Many people are sitting on the floor or on low benches and are listening to the chanting of Megilat Eicha (Book of Lamentations). What holiday is this?

Answer: Tisha B'Av

Tisha b'Av (the ninth day of the month of Av) is a day of mourning and fasting in commemoration of the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 CE as well as other tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people (including, but not limited to, the destruction of the First Temple, the Inquisition, and the Holocaust). We read aloud from (1) Eicha, the Book of Lamentations, on Tisha B'Av as a reminder of the sorrow and destruction that has befallen the Jewish people on this day over the generations.

Many people pray on this day (2) sitting on the floor or on a low stool. As opposed to the comfort of the chairs on which we usually sit to pray, this is a sign of mourning through forced discomfort. People also do not recite certain prayers and psalms and do not wear their T'fillin (phylactaries) during the morning service.
9. Wow, this is a holiday that I actually recognize. It is the booth festival of Sukkot. During the course of this week, I plan on resting in an outdoor temporary hut where I will also eat meals and recite special blessings while shaking my lulav and etrog. One other thing that I know about Sukkot is that, while it is an agricultural holiday, it is not one of the three pilgrimage festivals. Is this last statement true or false?

Answer: False

Sukkot (along with Pesach and Shavuot) is one of the three pilgrimage festivals of the Jewish holiday cycle. During the Temple Period, the festivals of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot marked the three times each year when Israelites had to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to bring an offering to the Temple. Sukkot is a six day long agricultural festival. We observe Sukkot by rejoicing in the (1) Sukkah, a temporary hut or booth through which one must be able to see the stars.

In the Sukkah, we bless and shake the (2) Lulav and (3) Etrog.

The Lilav is made from branches of three different species of tree (willow, myrtle, and palm) and is held together and waved in every direction. The Etrog, citron, is a special citrus fruit, chiefly grown in Israel, which is used on Sukkot.
10. I come home from synagogue in the evening to find my dining room table set with a glass of wine, two braided loaves of challah, and two candles, which I must have lit earlier, but can't seem to recall... what holiday is it?

Answer: Shabbat

Shabbat, the sabbath day, falls weekly during the time (traditionally 25 hours) from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday. It is a day of rest, and on Shabbat, traditionally, one does not perform any of the 39 categories of work that were required to build the Mishkan (wilderness tabernacle). We drink (1) wine to sanctify the sabbath day, and also to bring it in with sweetness and cheer. We bless two special loaves of (2) challah to represent the double portion of manna the Israelites received as they wandered the desert. We light (3) two candles as fire is a central symbol in Jewish holiday observance. Most Jewish holiday begin with lighting the festival lights. We light two candles on Shabbat for the two Shabbat commands: to Shamor (guard/ keep) and Zachor (remember) the sabbath day and keep it holy.
Source: Author Smurphie

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