My Jewish Learning

Suffering & Evil Quiz

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

Question 1. 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 2. 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 3. What is karet?
 When a particular sin is punishable by death
 The biblical penalty of being "cut off from the people"
 A certain kind of justice meted out in biblical courts
 The term for one who has been sentenced to death but has not yet been executed


Question 4. 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


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


Question 7. Who wrote the book When Bad Things Happen to Good People?
 Blu Greenberg
 Rabbi Louis Jacobs
 Rabbi Harold Kushner
 Gertrude Berg


Question 8. What is Rabbi Harold Kushner's belief about "When Bad Things Happen to Good People"?
 Certain people may seem outwardly good but be evil on the inside
 God does not cause our misfortunes, because not everything that happens in the world is due to God's will
 Bad things that happen in this lifetime are advance repayment for good things that will happen in the next
 All of these
 None of these


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