My Jewish Learning

Free Will Quiz

The paradox of human free will and God's infinite knowledge and power has troubled Jewish thinkers at every point in Jewish history. How much do you know about this debate?



Question 1. Elliot Dorff, a Conservative rabbi and theologian, has used arguments about genetic predeterminism and free will to respond to what issue?
 Poverty
 Rights for Homosexuals
 Kashrut
 Freedom of speech

 

Question 2. Which of these problems concerned medieval philosophers?
 How to reconcile free will and divine providence
 How to reconcile free will and divine foreknowledge
 How to ensure that human beings experience the feeling of freedom
 A & B only
 All of the above

 

Question 3. According to Isaac Luria, why is free will a difficult concept to accept?
 Because there is nothing separate from God
 Because chaos is impossible to predict
 Because God cannot have foreknowledge of human actions
 Because there is no difference between fatalism and determinism

 

Question 4. Who believed that free will doesn't really exist, but human beings need to believe it does?
 Ludwig Wittgenstein
 Yeshayahu Leibowitz
 Josephus
 Maimonides

 

Question 5. According to Maimonides, Godís "special providence" is limited to
 Tzaddikim
 Human beings
 Jews
 Torah scholars

 

Question 6. What did the Hasidic Izbicer Rebbe teach about free will?
 Humans do not have the ability to choose their actions
 God is the source of all human actions
 Humans can control their thoughts and intentions
 All of these
 None of these

 

Question 7. What does the term hashgahah mean?
 Predetermination
 Divine providence
 Free Will
 Godliness