Have Fun


Being quite busy with the usual back-to-stuff work and the preparations for our departure for Sweden, I have little time for proper blogging. Instead I suggest you test yourself and try to answer the quiz about the USA my 12th graders will have to answer in teams this morning.

1. Who abolished slavery in 1865?
2. Who discovered America in 1492?
3. What is the Ivy League?
4. What characters did Mark Twain create?
5. What is the name of the president on the $1 banknote?
6. What is the capital city of the USA?
7. How many states are there?
8. What are the two states that are not on the mainland?
9. Who said “I want you” for the army?
10. Where were the first European immigrants disembarked before entering New York City?
11. What is the name of the war that took place between 1861 and 1865?
12. What is the most expensive shopping street in New York City?
13. What is the name of the most famous stock exchange?
14. What is the other name of San Francisco?
15. What is the most famous bridge on the West coast?
16. What holiday is celebrated every fourth Thursday of November?
17. On what boat did the Pilgrim Fathers sail to the USA in 1620?
18. What is the name of the flag?
19. What is celebrated every year on July 4th?
20. Who wrote “Of Mice and Men”?
21. Who created the first basketball shoe in 1917?
22. What animal symbolizes the USA?
23. What was destroyed by the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001?
24. How many stripes are there on the American flag?
25. What is the highest building in New York?
26. Who said “This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” in 1968?
27. Who is the King?
28. Who wrote “The Old Man and the Sea”?
29. What is the name of the space center in Florida?
30. When was J. F. Kennedy assassinated?
31. Who said the “I have a dream” speech in 1963?
32. Who refused to let her seat to a white passenger in 1955?
33. What did the USA buy from France in 1803?
34. Located in the Southern part of the San Francisco Bay area, what is the name of the place that is home to many of the world’s largest technology corporations?
35. Who said “Yes, we can.”?
36. What are the main two political parties?
37. Who directed “Whatever works”, “Match Point” and “Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona”?
38. When did the Wall Street crash take place in the early 20th century?
39. Who created the New Deal, a range of policies increasing government intervention in the economy in 1932?
40. What does the controversial National Rifle Association promote?
41. What is the name of the most popular championship game of the National American Football league?
42. Who created Microsoft in 1975 at the age of 20?
43. What did Mark Zuckerberg create in 2004?
44. 44. Who directed “E.T”, “Saving Private Ryan”, Jurassic Park” and “Schindler’s List”?
45. What city was badly damaged by hurricane Katrina in 2005?
46. What is the ceremony that is held in February or March every year on Hollywood Boulevard?
47. What is the name of the most popular soft drink that was introduced in 1886?
48. Who created the most famous clothing company in 1869 with denim overalls?
49. Who introduced the “Speedee Service System” in 1948, the first fast-food restaurant in 1948?
50. What is the name of the city in Los Angeles County that is home to Hollywood celebrities and numerous wealthy people?

Hebrew Quiz II


The Maters Lectionis or in Hebrew imot kri’ah, in other words the letters mentioned in yesterday’s quiz – א ה ו י – were added before the Masoretes produced the Masoretic text – the authoritative Hebrew text of the Torah including its vocalization and accentuation.

When they added the diacritical notes – the little dots and signs which indicate the vowel sounds – why didn’t the Masoretes do away with א ה ו י? In other words they could have deleted the Mater Lectionis as they now had the vowel sounds expressed twice in a single syllable.

For instance, if you take a simple and well-known word: תּוֹרָה (Torah). The sound o is expressed both by the holam (the dot) and the vav while the ha sound is expressed twice thanks to the kamatz (the little sign) and the he.

Question 2:
Why did the Masoretes keep the Maters Lectionis?

Hebrew Quiz I


In an attempt to encourage myself with my Biblical Hebrew lessons, I have decided to start a Hebrew quiz.

Note that the course I am using is targeted at linguists and therefore combines easy notions with more complex ones.

Question 1:
What do the following letters have in common?
א ה ו י

Do not hesitate to elaborate.

Purim Quiz: Question 6


Since Leora and jewwishes only hinted to the answer so as to let other people reply to question 5, I have rephrased it and added another one.

Why are we told to remember what Amalek did to the Hebrews when they came out of Egypt on the Shabat before Purim?

What does Amalek stand for? What does it mean for you today?

Purim Quiz: Question 3


Hamantashen is a triangular, three-cornered filled pastry which is traditionally served on the Jewish festival of Purim. Why do Jews eat hamantashen pastries on Purim?

There are numerous interpretations on this hat and its three corners, one even pertaining to French history. How many explanations and symbols can you find?

Purim Quiz – Question 1


Since Purim is about having fun, I thought I would post one question every day until we celebrate it next week.

In the Book of Esther, what “word” is conspicuously missing?

Bonus: What other book of the Tanakh (Bible) fails to mention it too?