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 problem has Professor Gordon had?

2. What is Rachel urging Michael to do?

3. Who calls Reuven and is acting odd?

4. What happens to Michael while he is arguing?

5. Whose class is Reuven in at the opening of Chapter 6?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Reuven reveal in a flashback?

3. Describe Rav Kalman.

4. What does Kalman discuss with Reuven after class concerning Professor Gordon?

5. What does Danny tell Reuven about Michael?

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

7. Describe Reuven and Michael's phone conversation.

8. How does Reuven know Professor Gordon?

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

10. Describe the elderly man who is the father of the booth attendant at the dice game.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Chapter 8, Rav Kalman says he wants to impress upon the class the importance of choosing Torah over all else. Kalman says that he could only give his approval to students who put it above all else because he had had one of the greatest teachers of Torah in the world, and since his teacher had been killed, as had all his European students, his approval is the lone approval of an entire great line of Torah commentators. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think Rav Kalman means by the statement that his lone approval of an entire great line of Torah commentators?

2. What is the definition of tradition?

3. How important do you think tradition is in matters of religious belief?

4. Should religious belief change with cultural beliefs? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

In Chapter 4, the narrator says that Danny is raised by his father with a barrier of silence - they only spoke when they studied Talmud. This was to teach Danny suffering. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think Rebbe Saunders' method of raising Danny helped him to learn about suffering?

2. What else do you think it may have taught Danny?

3. Why do you think Rebbe Saunders thinks Danny needs to learn suffering?

4. Do you think Danny's mother had any say in the way Danny is raised in silence?

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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