My Jewish Learning

Suffering & Evil Quiz

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

Question 1. 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 2. How does the Bahir, the earliest kabbalistic work, describe the sefirah (God’s emanation) of "power"?
 "The penitential sefirah"
 "That which has the name of evil"
 "The sefirah of Satan"
 "The compassionate one"


Question 3. Who is credited with beginning the post-Holocaust theological discussion in the West?
 Elie Wiesel
 Emmanuel Levinas
 Martin Buber
 President Harry S. Truman
 None of these


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


Question 5. Who said that "in strict covenant theology, there can be no innocent sufferers"?
 Richard Rubenstein
 Elie Wiesel
 Shimon Peres
 Viktor Frankl


Question 6. 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 7. According to Saadiah Gaon, which of these is not a purpose of human suffering?
 None of the above


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


Question 9. 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 10. Who called evil "the most difficult matter…with which scholars of all ages, people and tongues have struggled"?
 Rabbi Harold Kushner