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 did Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, believe?
 God is responsible for creating both good and evil forces in the universe
 The term "God" represents "the power for salvation" in the universe
 Our idea of God is merely a representation for that which we consider to be good
 Evil is merely a human construction for that which we cannot understand


Question 2. True or false: For Jews, the problem of suffering is twofold, including a universal problem and a particular problem.


Question 3. Who wrote the book When Bad Things Happen to Good People?
 Blu Greenberg
 Rabbi Louis Jacobs
 Rabbi Harold Kushner
 Gertrude Berg


Question 4. What is the name for the vindication of Godís justice despite the existence of evil?
 Deus ex machina


Question 5. What is the Sitra Ahra?
 "The Other Side," a reference to the forces of evil
 "That Which Protects from Evil"
 "The Talisman," a reference to writings about suffering
 "The Second Door," a reference to Purgatory


Question 6. The problem of suffering and evil took on an unprecedented role in Jewish thought after what event?
 The giving of the Ten Commandments
 The editing of the Mishnah
 The Holocaust
 The Protestant reformation


Question 7. According to Judaism, why do bad things happen to good people?
 We cannot know
 The people suffering might seem "good" but they are in fact being punished for sins they committed
 Those who suffer now will be rewarded in the afterlife
 Jewish thinkers have advanced all of these answers


Question 8. According to Saadiah Gaon, which of these is not a purpose of human suffering?
 None of the above


Question 9. Does Judaism believe in a system of reward and punishment, according to the Bible?
 It does not explicitly say in the Bible


Question 10. How does Process Theology understand the Holocaust?
 It posits that God had no role in the Holocaust; that it was all human beings
 It rethinks traditional notions of a beneficent and providential God
 It rejects the idea of God in the first place
 It suggests that God's role was to save those who survived the Holocaust