My Jewish Learning

Suffering & Evil Quiz

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



Question 1. 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 2. 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 3. 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 4. Who called evil "the most difficult matter…with which scholars of all ages, people and tongues have struggled"?
 Rashi
 Maimonides
 Nachmanides
 Rabbi Harold Kushner
 Moses

 

Question 5. The phrase "freedom is a two-edged sword" is most characteristic of which Jewish philosophy?
 Hasidism
 Haskalah
 Process Theology
 The Free Will Defense
 None of these

 

Question 6. 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 7. 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 8. According to Saadiah Gaon, which of these is not a purpose of human suffering?
 Education
 Punishment
 Testing
 Restitution
 None of the above

 

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

 

Question 10. Which of these is an interpretation of the biblical punishment of karet?
 Spiritual excommunication
 Dying before the age of 60
 Dying childless
 All of the above
 None of the above