My Jewish Learning

Suffering & Evil Quiz

Jewish thinkers throughout the ages have asked: Why do bad things happen to good people?

Question 1. What did Abraham Isaac Kook think about the relationship between God and evil?
 That evil was the opposite of God
 That evil did not exist
 That, for some reason, God created the force of evil
 That one day God would destroy all evil in the world


Question 2. Which of the following claims did Maimonides deny in his philosophical writings?
 God is perfectly good
 God is all-powerful
 God is all-knowing
 Evil is real


Question 3. According to the Bible, what did God promise to the Jews at Mt. Sinai, if they followed God's ways?
 Rewards if they followed God, suffering if they did not
 Only rewards
 Only suffering


Question 4. The problem of justifying God despite the existence of evil is called:
 None of the above


Question 5. Who called evil "the most difficult matter…with which scholars of all ages, people and tongues have struggled"?
 Rabbi Harold Kushner


Question 6. Which of these is an interpretation of the biblical punishment of karet?
 Spiritual excommunication
 Dying before the age of 60
 Dying childless
 All of the above
 None of the above


Question 7. Who said that "in strict covenant theology, there can be no innocent sufferers"?
 Richard Rubenstein
 Elie Wiesel
 Shimon Peres
 Viktor Frankl


Question 8. In Reeve Robert Brenner's study documenting Holocaust survivors' faith in God, what results were found?
 Survivors were far more likely to believe in God
 Survivors were far less likely to believe in God
 The Holocaust did not extremely affect survivors' belief in God


Question 9. Is the character of Job (from the Book of Job) a Jew?
 We are unsure


Question 10. Which of the following did Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, believe?
 God is responsible for creating both good and evil forces in the universe
 The term "God" represents "the power for salvation" in the universe
 Our idea of God is merely a representation for that which we consider to be good
 Evil is merely a human construction for that which we cannot understand