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. What surprises Reuven's father?

2. What is one consequence of the orthodox reaction to Rav Kalman's article?

3. What does Michael say to a nurse?

4. Why does Michael think his father exhausts himself?

5. What does Reuven feel caught between in the religious community?

Essay 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 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

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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