The Promise Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. What happens to Michael while he is arguing?

2. Who is David Malter?

3. What past experience of Rabbi Kalman's does Reuven mention?

4. What does Reuven's father finish?

5. According to Rueven's friend, what rumors are circulating through the seminary?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Reb Saunders tell Reuven and what does Reuven do?

2. Who does Reuven encounter at the library and what is the person doing?

3. Describe Reuven's visit with Danny.

4. What is the impact of David Malter's book and Kalman's ensuing article on the Yeshiva where David teaches?

5. What explanation does Kalman offer for his attack on Greenfield the day before in class?

6. Describe the neighborhood in which the narrator lives at the opening of the The Promise.

7. How does Reuven work out a way to meet Professor Gordon?

8. What does Michael do when Reuven says he is going inside because he is cold?

9. What does Danny's father want to learn and what is his reaction when Reuven tells him?

10. Who does Reuven call the day after sailing with Michael and what is the result?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Michael hates orthodox Jews because he thinks they try to keep people from speaking the truth as the person sees it. Discuss one of the following:

1. Discuss and analyze the theme of truth in The Promise. Is there one truth? Many truths? Does any character have "the truth"?

2. Many wars have been fought over the concept of "the truth." Discuss one war that was waged over a difference in the perception of truth and what the core issue(s) was. Relate your research back to The Promise.

3. Thoroughly discucss one thing you think is absolutely true and then relate your beliefs in that truth to one character's beliefs about the truth in The Promise.

Essay Topic 2

Reuven asks his father about Kotzker, who it turns out is an eccentric rabbi who has shut himself up in a room for twenty years and has disagreements with many Hasidic sects.

Discuss the following:

1. Research the historical Kotzker Rebbe and write an informative essay on him and how the historical facts match up with what is said in The Promise.

2. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a scholar isolating himself for twenty years.

3. Can you ever think of a reason you would isolate yourself for twenty years?

4. Relate the anecdote about Kotzker Rebbe to the theme of silence in the Promise. What other situations are related to the theme of silence? Who tries to silence other? Why?

Essay Topic 3

Kalman reminds Reuven that Professor Gordon was excommunicated and demands that Reuven respect the excommunication by dissociating from Gordon. Discuss the following:

1. What is ex-communication in the Jewish tradition? What are the reasons for ex-communicating someone?

2. Do other religions practice ex-communication? Which ones? What are the reasons for ex-communicating someone?

3. Does ex-communication seem like a good way to deal with a dissenter? Why or why not?

4. How is ex-communication a form of control?

(see the answer keys)

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