Quiz 3: Family life

Central to the Jewish faith, this quiz is focused on family life. Do you know your stuff? Let’s see if you will pass the test!

1. What is the percentage of Jews who can read all or most Hebrew words?

A. 17%

B. 45%

C. 85%

D. Although they might not be able to converse in Hebrew, all Jewish people can read it.

Answer: A
The Hebrew alphabet provides an “abjad” writing system of symbols, has 22 letters and is written from right to left (so prayer books and Hebrew texts start at what would be the back of an English book). Although each symbol can be easily identified and has a recognised sound, like any language of symbols, it is harder to learn. Of the Jewish people in the world outside Israel, the greatest percentage of Jews who can read Hebrew is European.

2. As life has become increasingly secular over the years, many people (despite being identified as belonging to a specific religious group) have become less religious. Judaism is no exception. Overall, the percentage of Jews who claim not to be religious—yet still attend Jewish High Holy Days in the synagogue—is approximately...

A. 5%

B. 20%

C. 40%

D. 65%

Answer: B
Even though some Jewish people don't consider themselves religious, they still attend synagogue (particularly High Holiday services) so they can maintain their cultural connections and preserve their affiliation with the community.

Keep in mind these overall statistics are somewhat skewed, because where a non-Jewish male marries a Jewish female, any children will be recognised as Jewish under Jewish Law (even if the non-Jewish partner adheres strongly to his or her original faith). The family unit in this instance will also be recognised as Jewish.

3. Jewish family tradition and how to “be a Jew” passed down through the generations is said to be...

A. Caught, not taught

B. Instructed by teachers

C. Formally taught at school

D. On an “as you go along” basis

Answer: A
Jews stress the importance of observing their own family and listening to family stories. They feel this is the best way for a child to learn how to be a Jew. So when parents lead by example rather than words, their audience (children) will take that advice to heart.

4. One of the most important rooms in a Jewish house is the...

A. Lounge

B. Bathroom

C. Kitchen

D. Bedroom

Answer: C
As the place where all the preparatory family work for Holy Day and Sabbath meals takes place, the kitchen is usually where the family gathers before, after and in between these meals. Many Jewish traditions are based in the kitchen—from keeping the home kosher (separating meat dishes from milk dishes) to sharing the clearing up duties.

5. In a Jewish household, the wife and mother is called, in Hebrew, “akeret habayit”, which literally means (in translation) the...

A. Galley slave

B. Unrecognised one

C. She who must be obeyed

D. Mainstay

Answer: D
It is the woman who largely determines the character and atmosphere of the entire Jewish home. Judaism requires that a Jewish home must have a Jewish character, not only for holy days, but also for during the working week.

6. Before starting a Jewish home, Jewish couples are encouraged to...

A. Marry

B. Live together (unmarried)

C. Learn how to cook

D. Have children

Answer: A
As times have passed, the modern practice of living together is acknowledged, although not encouraged. In most very observant orthodox communities, couples do not cohabit at all. In very observant orthodox communities, marriage is sometimes arranged and takes place, although only with the consent of both parties.

7. Which of the three main branches (denominations) of Judaism is said to be the most family oriented. Is it...

A. Orthodox (traditional Judaism)

B. Conservative (historical Judaism)

C. Reform (Liberal or Reform Judaism)

D. all treat family life as vitally important

Answer: D
Regardless of the level of belief or adherence to Jewish Law, the family remains central to all Jews.

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