My Jewish Learning

Suffering & Evil Quiz

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

Question 1. True or false: In the Talmud, the rabbis tend to focus on theological solutions to the problem of evil, rather than the human response to suffering.


Question 2. Who wrote the book When Bad Things Happen to Good People?
 Blu Greenberg
 Rabbi Louis Jacobs
 Rabbi Harold Kushner
 Gertrude Berg


Question 3. 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 4. 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 5. 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 6. According to the Book of Ezekiel, can someone be punished for the deeds of his or her ancestors?


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. 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 9. 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 10. Which of these offenses was not penalized by karet?
 Failing to be circumcised
 Eating leaven on Passover
 Committing incest