As a Driven Leaf Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Milton Steinberg
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Elisha begins his life as a Rabbi?

2. Who does Elisha find, to his delight and surprise, in Caeserea?

3. How do the deaths from the plague affect Elisha?

4. Where does Elisha suspect the real truth lies?

5. When Elisha begins his studies on Antioch, what does he study first?

Short Essay Questions

1. What secret does Elisha tell Beruriah, and why?

2. Which friend of Elisha's is better at processing the Greek literature than the other two? Why?

3. Do you think Shraga is right to rebel against the Roman government and fight for his beliefs?

4. What strikes Elisha as characteristic about the people of Antioch?

5. In the Prologue, what do the sages debate over and what do they decide?

6. Why do Antiphanes and Elisha attend all the lectures and symposia offered in Antioch?

7. Who does Elisha turn to after sharing his thoughts with Deborah, and why?

8. In Part One, Chapter XX, what advice does Nicholaus give to Elisha about Elisha's obsession with Greek literature?

9. Why did the merchant's business suffer after taking his case to the Roman courts?

10. Elisha sees a young boy climbing a tree for bird eggs. What happens to the little boy and how does it affect Elisha?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Elisha sees a young boy climbing a tree for bird eggs. What happens to the little boy and how does it affect Elisha? Why does Elisha turn to the Jewish tradition for answers and why does it make him even more angry? Should faith account for all the evil and suffering in the world? Can bad things be explained away by faith or reason?

Essay Topic 2

Prejudice is a dangerous problem throughout As a Driven Leaf. Why do the Roman soldiers tease the boys, Pappas and Elisha, about being Jews? Were the Roman soldiers' behaviors unfair or fair? More importantly, are prejudices built into culture, or do they change with every generation? Discuss at least two accounts of prejudice described in the novel.

Essay Topic 3

The Jews as a community are facing persecution by the Romans but also must deal with divisions within their own community. Is it important for the Jewish members to speak and act as one, or should multiple voices and opinions be heard? Should the Sanhedrin operate by unanimous decision or by majority rule? Can every voice be heard equally?

(see the answer keys)

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