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 does Michael say he cannot get out of his head?

2. What does Reuven hear about Michael?

3. Who asks Reuven to talk with Michael?

4. Who does Michael see briefly?

5. How is Rachel's aunt helping Professor Gordon?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the topic of Michael's long-winded monologue to Reuven?

2. Who is Nota Finkel and for what is he noted?

3. Where does Professor Gordon invite Reuven and what does Reuven do?

4. What does Michael tell Reuven about Michael's nosebleeds?

5. Describe Reuven's visit with Danny.

6. When does Michael get a nosebleed at the fair, and what do Reuven and Rachel do?

7. Describe the game which Michael is playing and which is making Reuven and Rachel nervous for him.

8. What does Michael say about orthodox Jews?

9. About whom does Rachel ask Reuven and what is his reply?

10. What has Reuven's father completed during the Fall and early Winter?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Chapter 4, David Malter is impressed that Gordon has a theology where Jews can fail to believe but remain observant. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think Jews who do not believe in God would want to still observe the religious rituals surrounding the Jewish religious beliefs?

2. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of following the outward form without the inner beliefs.

3. Do you think it is a common practice for a person to follow the outward trappings of his/her religion (whether Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hindu, etc...) but not actually believe?

4. If you no longer believed in the spiritual/theological ideas behind the outward practice of your religion, would you continue to participate in the ceremonies that are a part of your belief system? Why or why not.

Essay Topic 2

In Chapter 11, Reuven is in Kalman's class, but their encounter is brief. Kalman says nothing to Reuven and Reuven feels hatred for him. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think Reuven's hatred for Kalman is justified?

2. Can this difference of ideology between Kalman and Reuven be a metaphor for the differences between any two people/groups/nations that have ideological differences? Explain fully.

3. Why do you think most people want others to believe the way they do? Is this healthy? Does it contribute to peace or conflict?

Essay Topic 3

Much of The Promise concerns theology. Many of the major characters are either Rabbis or studying to become a Rabbi. Michael, who is still a boy, makes perhasp some of the most interesting statements about god. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think Michael means when he says "God is smoke"?

2. Michael says he cannot get God out of his mind--discuss that statement in light of Michael's personality.

3. Are Michael's problems mostly spiritual; mostly psychological, or a combination of the two? Discuss thoroughly with examples.

(see the answer keys)

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