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 time frame does Chapter 5 concern?

2. What type of an emergency has Danny had in this chapter that tires him?

3. How does Reuven describe Professor Gordon?

4. What problem has Professor Gordon had?

5. What is one adjective that describes Kalman?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Reuven know Professor Gordon?

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

3. What do Reuven and Professor Gordon discuss about Michael?

4. What does Michael say about the universe when he is back home after the fair?

5. What rumors infuriate Reuven and his father?

6. Describe Reuven's visit with Danny.

7. What happens between October and December for Reuven?

8. What does Reuven reveal in a flashback?

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

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

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

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

In The Promise, the most visible and important characters are male. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think novels more often have a male hero than a female one?

2. Do you believe Rachael is as capable (or more so) than Reuven or Daniel? Would the novel be as interesting to you if she were the one that was in a difficult position with Rav Kalman? Why or why not.

3. Do you think females (in the real world) are just as likely and capable as males to be heroes? Why or why not?

4. Would you rather read a book with a male or female hero or do you have a preference? Explain your response.

(see the answer keys)

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