Weekly Quiz

Popes

What important role did Angelo Roncalli play in Catholic-Jewish relations?

A. As Pope Paul VI, he was the first pope to visit Israel, where he met with President Zalman Shazar in 1964.

B. As a priest he was instrumental in efforts to save Jews during the Holocaust, and later, as Pope John XXIII he oversaw the Second Vatican Council, which among other things repudiated the belief that Jews were collectively responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus.

C. When diplomatic relations were established between Israel and the Vatican in 1993, Pope John Paul II appointed him as the first Apostolic Nuncio (similar to ambassador) to Israel.

D. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as special Vatican nuncio (ambassador) to Israel in 2010. In April of that year he successfully intervened with the Italian Barilla Pasta Company to urge them not to drop their Kashrut certification, enabling Israeli Jews to end Passover with their traditional "Spaghetti Night Out" celebration.

E. As Pope John Paul II, he became the first pope to visit a synagogue, when in 1986 he made an unexpected visit to the Great Synagogue of Rome and prayed with Rabbi Elio Toaff, former Chief Rabbi of Rome.

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Happy Easter

Which symbol of Easter has its roots in Judaism?

A. The Easter sunrise service. This tradition evolved from the Haggadah reference to the rabbis at B'nei Brak "telling about the outgoing from Egypt during the whole of that Passover night, till their pupils came and said to them: Our teachers, the time has arrived for the recitation of the morning Sh'ma.”

B. Easter eggs. This symbol evolved from the placement of a roasted egg on the seder plate as a symbol of the korban chagigah, the festival sacrifice, also a symbol of mourning. In Christian theology, this refers to the mourning for the crucifixion of Jesus.

CThe Easter Bunny. This symbol derives from the reference in the Haggadah to the Rabbis who held a seder at B'nei Brak. A printing error in the Gutenberg Bible referred to the Rabbits at B'nei Brak, eventually morphing into the Easter Rabbits, and then Easter Bunnies.

DEaster parade. The Coptic Orthodox community in Egypt held an annual reenactment of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, which later evolved into the current tradition of parading in garish hats.

EThe Easter lamb. This references the z'roah, the shankbone, which symbolizes the Korban Pesach, or the Passover sacrifice of a lamb in the Temple. In Christian theology, this has been reinterpreted to refer to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

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Matzobrau

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Matzobrau, a beer made from matzah, was described how in Bon Appetit magazine?

ADark beer with that unmistakable toasty note of the bread of affliction.

B. Tastes great, more binding.

C. The Manischewitz of bottled beers.

D. The beer that made Monsey famous.

E. Okay, Jewish people. Can't you just wait one week and drink a real beer after Passover?

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Passover in WWII

In 1945, what did the National Jewish Welfare Board do at Passover time for soldiers serving in the military?

A. They arranged for the Armed Forces Radio Network to broadcast recordings of Passover songs, including The Four Questions by Sammy Davis, Jr., and Let My People Go by Artie Shaw.

B. They arranged to send matzah which was baked in the shape of a "V" for “Victory."

C. They provided Kosher for Passover KP-rations which included freeze-dried matzah balls.

D. They provided Passover Haggadahs which included a special Dayenu section, including statements such as "Had he given us victory at the Battle of the Bulge but not enabled us to conquer our foes in the Philippines, Dayenu.”

E. They provided a salami for every boy in the army (and yes, if you say this right, it does rhyme).

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