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: For Jews, the problem of suffering is twofold, including a universal problem and a particular problem.


Question 2. What is the name for the vindication of God’s justice despite the existence of evil?
 Deus ex machina


Question 3. Who called evil "the most difficult matter…with which scholars of all ages, people and tongues have struggled"?
 Rabbi Harold Kushner


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


Question 5. 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 6. 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 7. 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 8. Does Judaism believe in a system of reward and punishment, according to the Bible?
 It does not explicitly say in the Bible


Question 9. Which approach to a painful experience does Rabbi Harold Kushner recommend?
 Pretending it didn't happen
 Dwelling in the pain
 Asking, "What did I do to deserve this?"
 Asking, "Now that this has happened to me, what am I going to do about it?"


Question 10. Who wrote the book When Bad Things Happen to Good People?
 Blu Greenberg
 Rabbi Louis Jacobs
 Rabbi Harold Kushner
 Gertrude Berg