My Jewish Learning

Suffering & Evil Quiz

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



Question 1. The phrase "freedom is a two-edged sword" is most characteristic of which Jewish philosophy?
 Hasidism
 Haskalah
 Process Theology
 The Free Will Defense
 None of these

 

Question 2. 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 3. How does Process Theology understand the Holocaust?
 It posits that God had no role in the Holocaust; that it was all human beings
 It rethinks traditional notions of a beneficent and providential God
 It rejects the idea of God in the first place
 It suggests that God's role was to save those who survived the Holocaust

 

Question 4. 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 5. How does the Bahir, the earliest kabbalistic work, describe the sefirah (Godís emanation) of "power"?
 "The penitential sefirah"
 "That which has the name of evil"
 "The sefirah of Satan"
 "The compassionate one"

 

Question 6. 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 7. Which of these offenses was not penalized by karet?
 Failing to be circumcised
 Eating leaven on Passover
 Committing incest
 Murder

 

Question 8. What do traditional Jewish sources teach about Hell?
 There is no afterlife in Judaism
 There is a heaven and a hell, similar to the Christian division
 There is an incorporeal "middle ground" called Gehennom, or purgatory
 There is an afterlife, but only for good people

 

Question 9. According to the Book of Ezekiel, can someone be punished for the deeds of his or her ancestors?
 Yes
 No

 

Question 10. 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