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 Jewish philosopher suggested that God knows the options from which we will choose, but doesn’t know the specific choice we will make?
 Philo
 Saadiah Gaon
 Gersonides
 Moses Mendelsohn

 

Question 2. True or false: The Bible has examples of God announcing predetermined events and interfering with individual choices.
 True
 False

 

Question 3. Which of these problems concerned medieval philosophers?
 How to reconcile free will and divine providence
 How to reconcile free will and divine foreknowledge
 How to ensure that human beings experience the feeling of freedom
 A & B only
 All of the above

 

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. True or false: In antiquity, the different sects in Israel (Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes) all agreed about fate and determinism.
 True
 False

 

Question 6. What does the term hashgahah mean?
 Predetermination
 Divine providence
 Free Will
 Godliness

 

Question 7. Which Jewish philosopher comes closest to asserting that humans do not have free will?
 Maimonides
 Hasdai Crescas
 Isaac Luria
 Joseph Soloveitchik
 Judah Halevi