My Jewish Learning

Suffering & Evil Quiz

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

Question 1. What is karet?
 When a particular sin is punishable by death
 The biblical penalty of being "cut off from the people"
 A certain kind of justice meted out in biblical courts
 The term for one who has been sentenced to death but has not yet been executed


Question 2. Is the character of Job (from the Book of Job) a Jew?
 We are unsure


Question 3. 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 4. According to Maimonides, what is the worst punishment for sinners?


Question 5. 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 6. 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 7. What is the philosophical conclusion reached by the Book of Job?
 Job suffered in this world in order to achieve a reward in the next
 Humans are just toys to be played with by God and the angels
 It is fruitless for humans to try to figure out why God causes some righteous people to suffer
 All of these
 None of these


Question 8. True or false: In traditional Jewish thought, Satan does not exist.


Question 9. 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 10. According to the Talmud, when Rabbi Akiba was tortured by the Romans at the end of his life, what did he do?
 He repeated the Shema prayer again and again
 He closesd his eyes and ignored the pain
 He mystically enabled himself to explode into fire
 He embraced the pain and redirected it for good