ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A DALET/HEY-ER?
A Passover Quiz
The following quiz was discussed by the Dalet and Hey classes at the Congregation B'nai Israel Hebrew School in Emerson, NJ. An answer key is provided - just in case you need help. Chag Sameach!
1. Which minimum amount of marror are we traditionally required to eat?
a. An olive sized amount
b. Enough to make you tear up, in memory of Egypt
c. An amount equal to the charoset you use
2. Why do we not eat chametz on Passover?
a. To re-live the fact that we didn’t have time for the bread to rise when we were leaving Egypt
b. As a reminder not be “puffed up” or obnoxiously full of pride
c. A & B
3. How much chametz can you eat on Passover, before it is considered “unkosher for Passover?”
a. An olive sized amount
b. Any amount, no matter how small
c. An amount equal to a single sheet of matzah
4. Which prayer from the Haggadah in Aramaic?
a. Ha Lachma Anya
b. Chad Gadya
c. A & B
5. The Rabbis of the Talmud point to twin themes in the Haggadah:
a. Food & Family
b. The spiritual freedom of believing in one God & the physical freedom from oppression
c. A & B
6. We invite Elijah to the seder because
a. He questioned the Jewish commitment to covenant (brit - the special promise between God and the Jewish people) and now we show him our commitment.
b. He is a master of transition – anyone who can go from this world to the next without losing consciousness can also help us go from slavery to freedom.
c. He comes to lots of family simchas – brises and weddings, too.
d. He may announce the Messiah on the seder night; it’s a night of freedom, after all.
e. All of the above.
7. The Rabbis of the Talmud said that the following person(s) were responsible for the exodus:
a. The women of that time
d. All of the above
8. Some people add Miriam’s cup, filled with water, to the seder table because
a. Miriam was the source of water and spiritual nourishment for the Israelites in the desert.
b. Miriam was the key figure who celebrated, singing and dancing, when they survived the water crossing.
c. Miriam was probably the true author of “the Song of the Sea,” including the Mi Chamocha prayer.
d. All of the above.
9. Something I will do to make my seder more fun and meaningful this year is:
a. Make up and perform a skit about the Jews leaving Egypt.
b. Switch the afikomen custom at the seder – do something new with it. If kids usually hide, let them seek, and vice versa.
c. Give this quiz to others (perhaps a different crowd on the second night).
d. Visit the
page for a “Seder Solution” idea.
e. I have my own idea! It is …
ANSWER KEY & EXPLANATIONS
1. A. Marror means bitter herbs and can include horseradish (for most Ashkenazim) or romaine lettuce. We have an agreed-upon amount based on the teachings of the Talmud. Such agreements explain why seders have remained largely consistent from generation to generation and place to place. You can go anywhere in the world today, and enjoy a Passover seder that “feels like home.” A set amount also ensures that people will neither slough off and not eat the bitter herbs, nor torture themselves and eat so much that they are sick, in order to be “pious.”
2. C. Chametz means leaven, which includes any regular breads, muffins, cookies, etc. Chametz also has a third meaning: that which can ferment or go bad. This time of the year, we do a spiritual spring cleaning of all our “puffed up” attitudes and of any procrastination (that which gets “moldy” for lack of action), as well as cleaning out literal chametz.
3. B. The laws of kashrut allow for error. Something can be 1/60th unkosher and still be kosher, with regard to mixing milk and meat. However, for Passover, there is no leeway. We must release ALL chametz. This represents 100% commitment to freedom.
4. B. The very beginning of the Maggid (storytelling) portion of the seder and the very last song were in the vernacular of the day. You are encouraged to add your own vernacular (in our case, English) prayers at the beginning and end of the seder.
5. C. It may surprise you to know that the ancient rabbis were concerned and creative about keeping children engaged during the late-night festivities. They came up with the idea of stealing the afikomen to maintain the kids’ interest and wakefulness. They also suggested serving walnuts, which were considered a treat, and which kept the kids busy and quiet during adult discussions of the seder, since it took time and concentration to crack the shells.
6. E. Elijah the prophet was said to have ascended to heaven in a fiery chariot, and never underwent death in the traditional manner. Elijah is also expected to announce the coming of the Messiah.
7. A. Although you could certainly make an argument for Moses and God getting credit, the Talmudic rabbis gave all the credit for the exodus happening when it did to the righteous women of the time. Moses would never have survived without his mother, Yocheved; his sister, Miriam; and his adoptive mother, Pharaoh’s daughter (whom the midrash names Bitya). The midwives Shifra and Pua defied Pharaoh’s command to kill newborn Jewish babies. According to the midrash, Jewish women bravely gave birth silently under apple trees. They went to orchards away from where slaves were working and avoided crying out during labor so as not to alert Egyptian taskmasters that a Jewish baby was being born. One reason we eat the charoset (apple/nut mixture) is that it resembles the mortar the Israelites used in building with bricks. The other reason, often neglected, is to remember the courageous Jewish women who gave birth under the apple trees.
8. D. Women wrote most of the war and victory songs of the Bible. Miriam certainly sang at least part – and maybe most – of the Song at the Sea (including the Mi Chamocah prayer). The Bible reports that she led all the women in singing and dancing with tambourines to celebrate crossing the Sea of Reeds in safety. They celebrated the fact that the water parted, and the Israelites were able to walk on dry land and escape the Egyptian army. It is amazing to contemplate that, in fleeing for their lives, the women had faith and foresight enough to bring tambourines, to celebrate the miracle they were, apparently, counting on. If you were expecting a miracle, what would you carry with you?
9. Any and all answers are correct. Enjoy!