My Jewish Learning

Suffering & Evil Quiz

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

Question 1. Why is the question of suffering and evil unique among theological and philosophical problems?
 It confronts us almost daily
 Jewish history is replete with tragedy, both individual and communal
 The Holocaust significantly impacted the discourse around this problem
 All of the above


Question 2. According to the Book of Ezekiel, can someone be punished for the deeds of his or her ancestors?


Question 3. Which of the following thinkers first posited that both good and evil forces emanate from God?
 Mordecai Kaplan
 Rav Kook
 Rabbi Jill Jacobs
 Rabbi Harold Kushner
 Rabbi Akiva


Question 4. Who said that "in strict covenant theology, there can be no innocent sufferers"?
 Richard Rubenstein
 Elie Wiesel
 Shimon Peres
 Viktor Frankl


Question 5. According to Judaism, why do bad things happen to good people?
 We cannot know
 The people suffering might seem "good" but they are in fact being punished for sins they committed
 Those who suffer now will be rewarded in the afterlife
 Jewish thinkers have advanced all of these answers


Question 6. Which of these texts was the first to ask the question "Why do bad things happen to good people"?
 A bestselling self-help guide
 The Book of Leviticus
 The Book of Job
 The Book of Isaiah
 The Book of Daniel


Question 7. The problem of suffering and evil took on an unprecedented role in Jewish thought after what event?
 The giving of the Ten Commandments
 The editing of the Mishnah
 The Holocaust
 The Protestant reformation


Question 8. Who called evil "the most difficult matter…with which scholars of all ages, people and tongues have struggled"?
 Rabbi Harold Kushner


Question 9. What is Rabbi Harold Kushner's belief about "When Bad Things Happen to Good People"?
 Certain people may seem outwardly good but be evil on the inside
 God does not cause our misfortunes, because not everything that happens in the world is due to God's will
 Bad things that happen in this lifetime are advance repayment for good things that will happen in the next
 All of these
 None of these


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