The Promise Test | Final 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. Who has been upset by Rav Kalman's article on David Malter's book?

2. From what school is Greenfield earning his Ph.D.?

3. Who does Kalman believe has the authority to interpret ancient Hebrew texts?

4. What does Reuven tell Danny when he returns to Danny?

5. What does Kalman say he cannot do?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Reuven and Gordon discuss when they meet in this chapter?

2. What is Michael's recent disturbing behavior and what precipitated Michael's actions?

3. What does Danny think about isolation and what does Danny want Reuven to do?

4. What does Danny tell Reuven and what is Reuven's reaction?

5. What small breakthrough happens with Michael, and what does his mother want?

6. What is the difference in scholarly approaches between Kalman and Reuven's father.

7. What does Michael say about Rav Kalman's article?

8. What is the essential argument of the second part of Rav Kalman's article attacking David Malter's book?

9. What does Kalman think about Reuven as his student?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of change. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with change? Why? What are some symbols of change? Symbols of rigidity? What characters seem rigid?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of mental/emotional illness. Which characters struggle with some sort of emotional illness? Why? Which characters seem really healthy emotionally/mentally? Why? How is Michael Gordon's emotional problems a metaphor for the changes taking place in the realm of Jewish theology?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of tradition. What is Reuven's view of tradition? Kalman's? Michael Gordon's? Professor Gordon's? Why is tradition important to some characters? Is anyone willing to abandon traditional viewpoints? Who? What are the positive and negative sides to tradition?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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