My Jewish Learning

Free Will Quiz

The paradox of human free will and God's infinite knowledge and power has troubled Jewish thinkers at every point in Jewish history. How much do you know about this debate?

Question 1. Which of these modern scientific advances challenge the Jewish idea of free will?
 Sigmund Freud's suggestion that our behaviors are guided by unconscious drives
 Genetic science about the extent to which our lives and inclinations are programmed into our biological constitution
 Discoveries about organic aspects of our personalities
 A & B only
 All of the above


Question 2. What does the term hashgahah mean?
 Divine providence
 Free Will


Question 3. Which Jewish philosopher comes closest to asserting that humans do not have free will?
 Hasdai Crescas
 Isaac Luria
 Joseph Soloveitchik
 Judah Halevi


Question 4. What did the Hasidic Izbicer Rebbe teach about free will?
 Humans do not have the ability to choose their actions
 God is the source of all human actions
 Humans can control their thoughts and intentions
 All of these
 None of these


Question 5. Which of the following did not have his/their heart(s) hardened by God?
 The Moabite king Sihon
 The army of Canaan


Question 6. Many kabbalists believe that God's providence does not extend to which of the following?
 Hasidic Jews
 People who do not study Kabbalah


Question 7. According to Maimonides, Godís "special providence" is limited to
 Human beings
 Torah scholars