The Promise Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How do David Malter and Rav Kalman differ academically?

2. With whom does Reb Saunders think Danny is involved?

3. What does Reuven feel towards Kalman?

4. What does Kalman claim unravels and destroys the Talmud's authority?

5. What concerns Rachel about the idea of marrying Danny?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The Promise, like many, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy (or at least optimistic) note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why? not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of The Promise and whether or not The Promise fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why The Promise is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

In chapter 3, the narrator relates that Rav Kalman is a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp. Discuss the following:

1. Research and write a brief informative essay on the Nazi concentration camps of WWII. Why were they established? Who was sent to them? How many died there? How many survived? Offer your own thoughts about the concentration camps.

2. What sort of emotional and psychological damage do you think Rav Kalman could be suffering from as a result of having lived through the experience of a concentration camp?

3. Why do you think Rav Kalman came out of the camp with a still-firm faith in his God?

4. Do you think the concentration camp experience caused very many survivors to abandon their faith in God?

(see the answer keys)

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