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Quiz about Ten Jewish Festivals
Quiz about Ten Jewish Festivals

Ten Jewish Festivals Trivia Quiz


Judaism is a religion with many festivals and holy days, and all of these have certain symbols - foods, clothing, stories etc. - related to them. I give you three clues and you try and guess which festival they're associated with.

A matching quiz by Kankurette. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Kankurette
Time
4 mins
Type
Match Quiz
Quiz #
399,653
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
287
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 47 (10/10), Guest 212 (10/10), Guest 96 (10/10).
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
QuestionsChoices
1. Kittel, Book of Jonah, Vidui  
  Purim
2. Four cups of wine, charoset, matzah  
  Sukkot
3. Trees, dried fruits, the environment  
  Tu B'Shvat
4. Fancy dress, megillah, hamantaschen  
  Rosh Hashana
5. Ruth, Torah study, cheesecake  
  Yom Kippur
6. Torah scrolls, Shemini Atzeret, special aliyah  
  Chanukah
7. Boiled eggs dipped in ash, disasters, Lamentations  
  Shavuot
8. Apples in honey, shofar, Tashlich  
  Simchat Torah
9. Lulav, etrog, homemade shelters  
  Passover
10. Candles, doughnuts, dreidels  
  Tisha B'Av





Select each answer

1. Kittel, Book of Jonah, Vidui
2. Four cups of wine, charoset, matzah
3. Trees, dried fruits, the environment
4. Fancy dress, megillah, hamantaschen
5. Ruth, Torah study, cheesecake
6. Torah scrolls, Shemini Atzeret, special aliyah
7. Boiled eggs dipped in ash, disasters, Lamentations
8. Apples in honey, shofar, Tashlich
9. Lulav, etrog, homemade shelters
10. Candles, doughnuts, dreidels

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Kittel, Book of Jonah, Vidui

Answer: Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement, and one of the holiest days in the Jewish calendar, to the point where synagogues are often crowded. The service on the day is very long and is divided into parts, including the Avodah, a re-enactment of the ancient Temple ceremony (minus the sacrifice bit). Jews spend the day fasting and some more observant Jews also refrain from sex, wearing leather shoes or make-up, and washing. It is the day on which we repent of all our sins throughout the year, effectively wiping the slate clean.

The kittel is a white garment worn by Jewish men at Yom Kippur services. It is also a funeral shroud with no pockets (as Jews do not take anything to the afterlife with us, and all are equal in death).

The Book of Jonah is the Hafatarah portion traditionally read during the afternoon service, about a prophet who was eaten by a giant fish when he tried to escape from G-d by sailing to Tarshish, after G-d asked him to warn the people of Nineveh to repent of their sins. It is appropriate for Yom Kippur because of the theme of G-d being willing to forgive Jonah.

Vidui are a set of confessional prayers repeated throughout the Yom Kippur service, both personal and communal. One of them, Ashamnu, is an alphabetical list of sins.
2. Four cups of wine, charoset, matzah

Answer: Passover

Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, is one of the biggest festivals in the Jewish calendar and celebrates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. The seder is a special meal held on the first, and sometimes second, night of Passover, with prayers, stories and songs, and a plate featuring foods associated with various aspects of the Passover story. It gets its English name from G-d passing over the doors of Jews, which were marked with lamb's blood to distinguish them from Egyptian homes, to avoid slaying their firstborn children (the tenth plague of Egypt). It lasts 7-8 days, depending on tradition.

The four cups of wine must be drunk at different points during the seder (kids and teetotallers can drink grape juice instead). The first is for Kiddush, the blessing over wine; the second is during the Exodus story; the third is drunk after the meal; and the fourth is drunk during the Hallel, or psalms. Ten drops of wine are spilled on the table to represent the ten plagues of Egypt.

Charoset is a sweet mixture representing the mortar used by Jewish slaves in Egypt. It is one of the foods on the seder plate. It usually contains kiddush wine, spices, fruit and nuts, although recipes vary according to tradition.

Matzah, or matzo, is a type of cracker eaten during Passover made from one of the five grains (usually wheat). It is unleavened and must be made under rabbinical supervision. During the seder, a piece of matzah called the 'afikomen' is broken off and hidden for children to find. It is eaten at the end of the seder meal as a 'dessert'.
3. Trees, dried fruits, the environment

Answer: Tu B'Shvat

Tu B'Shvat (the 15th of the month of Shvat) is the New Year for Trees, and is a minor Jewish festival. According to the Talmud, it is one of four New Years.

Because of Tu B'Shvat being the New Year for Trees, it is customary in Israel to plant trees on the day. It has become the Israeli equivalent of Arbor Day.

Some Jews hold a seder for Tu B'Shvat where fruit and nuts feature heavily in the meal, such as the Seven Species associated with the land of Israel: olives, dates, wheat, grapes, figs, pomegranates and barley. According to Kabbalah tradition, fruits should be eaten in a certain order which corresponds to the Tree of Life. Fruit which is hard on the outside and soft on the inside (such as oranges or bananas) comes first, followed by soft fruits (such as dates or plums), and then fruits such as berries which can be eaten whole.

In modern times, Tu B'Shvat has also been adopted as a holiday for raising awareness of environmental issues, both in Israel and in the Jewish diaspora. Some Israeli institutions have also chosen it as an inauguration day.
4. Fancy dress, megillah, hamantaschen

Answer: Purim

Purim, or the Festival of Lots, celebrates the Jews being saved from Haman, the viceroy of the Persian king Ahasuerus. 'Lots' refers to the lots cast by Haman when he was deciding on a date to massacre the Jewish people, one of whom - Esther - also happened to be married to Ahasuerus. Esther's uncle Mordecai discovers the plot and warns her, and she reveals to Ahasuerus at a banquet that she is Jewish and that Haman is plotting to kill the Jews. Ahasuerus has him executed.

It is customary for Jews to dress up on Purim, and some synagogues - such as mine - have themes for dressing up, such as the beach or comedy hats. Jews in Israel participate in parades known as Adloyada. Many adults also drink alcohol.

The megillah is the scroll which contains the Book of Esther, which is read during the Purim service. The congregation are encouraged to drown out Haman's name with noise; some Jews wave greggers, a kind of football rattle. Some services also feature a Purim spiel, or play.

Hamantaschen, or 'Haman's pockets' are sweet triangular pastries filled with a mixture of fruit and poppy seeds, or sometimes chocolate, which are eaten on Purim. Some Jewish children also receive baskets of sweets called 'mishloach manot', which means 'sending of portions'.
5. Ruth, Torah study, cheesecake

Answer: Shavuot

Shavuot, or the Festival of Weeks, celebrates two things: it is a harvest festival, and it also celebrates G-d giving the Torah to Israel. It comes at the end of the Counting of the Omer, a period which starts on the second day of Passover; the omer was a measurement of barley in ancient times, and was offered each day in the Temple up until Shavuot. This period is also supposed to be a time of spiritual reflection, and observant Jews will not shave or get a haircut, listen to music or attend celebrations, with one exception being on Lag B'Omer, the 18th day.

The Book of Ruth is associated with Shavuot for several reasons. It mentions a harvest, King David - who was descended from Ruth - was born on Shavuot, and Ruth was the first convert to Judaism, which ties in with the giving of the Torah.

It is traditional to study the Torah all night on Shavuot, or at least until midnight. Any portion can be studied, and it can either be studied alone, with a partner or in a group. In Jerusalem, observant Jews will conclude their all-nighter by walking to the Kotel for morning prayers.

There are various reasons given for dairy products being associated with Shavuot, such as the Song of Songs comparing the Torah to milk and honey. One of the most popular dairy products to be eaten on Shavuot is cheesecake; other Shavuot dishes include cheese blintzes and cheese-filled pastries.
6. Torah scrolls, Shemini Atzeret, special aliyah

Answer: Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah is the final of the autumn festivals and holy days which also include Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, and it means 'rejoicing with the Torah'. It follows on directly from Sukkot and celebrates the ending of the year's Torah cycle, and the start of a new one.

All the Torah scrolls in the synagogue are taken out of the ark and carried around the synagogue several times by various members of the congregation. In Reform synagogues, women get to carry the scrolls as well (I've done it myself), while Orthodox synagogues may have separate processions for women. The congregation also dance and sing in between the circuits. Some congregations even carry the scrolls out into the streets!

Shemini Atzeret, or 'Eighth Day of Assembly', is the eighth day which follows on from Sukkot, and which sometimes coincides with Simchat Torah, depending on where you live. In Israel, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are on the same day, but in the diaspora, Shemini Atzeret is directly followed by Simchat Torah.

To celebrate the end of the previous year's Torah cycle and the start of a new one, two men will be called up to recite the blessing over the Torah, a process known as an 'aliyah'. The Chatan Torah ('chatan' means 'bridegroom') does it for the last section to be read before the new cycle starts, and the Chatan Bereishit does it for the first section of the new cycle. Reform synagogues may also call up two women to be the Kallah Torah and Kallah Bereishit ('kallah' being 'bride'). Some synagogues also call up all children under Bar Mitzvah age (13) or Bat Mitzvah age (12), or groups of people with something in common, such as recent birthdays.
7. Boiled eggs dipped in ash, disasters, Lamentations

Answer: Tisha B'Av

Tisha B'Av (the 9th of Av, a Jewish month) isn't exactly a festival per se - it's one of the darkest days in the Jewish calendar, and not all Jews observe it. Like Yom Kippur, it is a fast day and the same prohibitions on sex, washing etc. apply. It commemorates both the fall of Solomon's Temple by the Babylonians and the Second Temple by the Romans, both of which occurred on 9th Av.

One custom on Tisha B'Av is to eat a hard-boiled egg and a piece of bread which have both been dipped in ashes as a pre-fast meal. This meal should be eaten while sitting on low chairs, as is the custom during shivah (the seven-day mourning period after a death).

As well as the fall of both Temples, many other disasters affecting Jews have happened on or around 9th Av over the centuries. These include the defeat of bar Kochba's revolt by the Romans; the First Crusade; the expulsion of Jews from medieval England; the mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto; and Heinrich Himmler being given the green light for the Final Solution, culminating in the Holocaust.

Although Torah study is not permitted as a rule, as it is seen as an enjoyable activity, exceptions include the Book of Lamentations, which mourns the destruction of both Temples. The book is traditionally recited on Tisha B'Av.
8. Apples in honey, shofar, Tashlich

Answer: Rosh Hashana

Rosh Hashana is the Jewish New Year, and the beginning of the High Holy Days, the period of repentance which leads up to Yom Kippur. Like Yom Kippur services, Rosh Hashana services have a higher than usual attendance. Some congregations observe it for one day, while other congregations observe it over two days.

Traditional foods associated with Yom Kippur include apples dipped in honey (for a sweet new year), honey cake, carrots (as the Hebrew name for carrots, 'meren', also means to multiply, and carrot slices can represent wealth), and pomegranates, associated with being fruitful due to being crammed with seeds. Some Jews eat foods mentioned in the Talmud, such as dates, leeks or black-eyed peas.

The shofar is an animal horn, usually a ram's horn, traditionally blown by either the rabbi or a member of the congregation (being able to play a brass instrument is a bonus). Jews are commanded to hear the shofar on Rosh Hashana, and it must be sounded at least 30 times. It is also blown during the Yom Kippur service to signify the end of the service.

Tashlich is a ceremony that represents the casting-off of sins, and involves throwing either stones or breadcrumbs into a river or the sea. It is more common in Ashkenazi Jewish communities. Another, more controversial ceremony called kapparot involves swinging a chicken around one's head before slaughtering it, though many Jews will not do it on the grounds that it is cruel to animals.
9. Lulav, etrog, homemade shelters

Answer: Sukkot

Sukkot, or the Festival of Booths, is one of the Pilgrim Festivals, along with Shavuot and Sukkot. It lasts seven days and comes between Yom Kippur and Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah. It commemorates the Jews living in shelters in the desert during the Exodus for seven days, as commanded by G-d.

The lulav is a collection of leaves from date palm, willow and myrtle trees bound together ('lulav' is the Hebrew for 'date palm'). It is passed around the congregation during the service and must be shaken in various directions by each member of the congregation, to represent G-d's mastery over the Earth.

The etrog, along with the three trees used to make the lulav, are known as the Four Species, and one should hold the etrog in one's hand while shaking the lulav. An etrog is a citron, and it must have its pitam (a kind of stem) intact and not be a hybrid. Some Jews will make it into jam after Sukkot, while others may preserve and/or candy it for Tu B'Shvat. It is said that if a woman eats an etrog, she will have an easy childbirth.

The sukkah is the Hebrew word for 'booth', and is a kind of shelter - if I'd used the Hebrew word in the question, it would have been a giveaway. it is traditional to build one immediately after Yom Kippur and eat, make Kiddush and sleep there (although this is easier said than done in rainy countries like England!) There are certain rules for building a sukkah; it must be made from materials that will withstand wind and have a roof made of a material which has grown from the earth, such as tree branches or palm leaves. It is customary to decorate the inside of a sukkah with fruits, vegetables and plants; the sukkah at my synagogue had fruit and vegetables hanging from the walls and ceiling.
10. Candles, doughnuts, dreidels

Answer: Chanukah

Chanukah is one of the most well-known Jewish festivals due to its proximity to Christmas, though it isn't a major holiday in the way that Yom Kippur or Passover are (in that you don't have to take time off work or observe the Shabbat rituals). Chanukah is the Festival of Lights and celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple, and the Maccabean Revolt. The story of Chanukah is told in 1 and 2 Maccabees.

The most well-known symbol of Chanukah is the chanukiah, a nine-branched menorah or candlestick; one candle for each day of the festival, plus one in the middle which acts as the shamash, a candle used to light the other candles. It is customary to light candles for every day of the festival; one day on the first day, two days on the second, and so on. Some cities such as New York and Manchester have a giant chanukiah in a public place, lit by members of local Jewish communities.

Doughnuts, or sufganiyot, are a popular Chanukah food as they are fried in oil, the oil representing the oil in the Temple lamps which burned for eight days. Other foods associated with Chanukah include latkes, fried cakes of shredded potato, and chocolate coins, or 'Chanukah gelt'.

The dreidel is a four-sided top with Hebrew letters on each side; the letters stand for 'Nes Gadol Hayah Sham', or 'a great miracle happened there'. Israeli variants use the letter Pe for 'Po', 'here', as the fourth letter. A popular Chanukah game involves spinning the dreidel, and what the player gets depends on the letter showing; for instance, if the letter Hey appears, the player gets half the pieces in the pot in the centre. Game pieces can be chocolate coins, pennies or other small objects. In the USA, there are even dreidel tournaments!
Source: Author Kankurette

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