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The Stoic Jew

Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss

My name is Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss. I am, first and foremost, an Orthodox Jew. My primary area of focus is the teachings of Shlomo ha'Melech (King Solomon) in Mishlei (Proverbs) and Koheles (Ecclesiastes). I also consider myself to be a student of the Stoic masters: Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius. Over the past two decades I have been exploring the relationship between Judaism and Stoicism - where they overlap, where they differ, and how they complement each other. This year I started a daily reading of Marcus Aurelius with an aim to explore these questions. I'll read a passage from Aurelius's Meditations and then muse (or meditate aloud) on my thoughts about what he said and what the Torah would have to say. As Seneca taught: "Each day acquire something that will fortify you against poverty, against death, indeed against other misfortunes as well; and after you have run over many thoughts, select one to be thoroughly digested that day" (Letter #2). If this podcast serves that purpose, then it will have been of value.
Episodes
Preparing to Grieve for Popo, My 98-Year-Old Grandmother (Seneca – Letters #23,26,101, On the Shortness of Life, Consolation of Marcia 10:4)February 01, 2023
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Reflections on My 39th Birthday, New Years 2023, and 2nd Semester (Seneca – Letter #83)January 11, 2023
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Dan l’Chaf Zechus: a Practical Stoic Technique for Judging Someone Favorably (Epictetus – Enchiridion 5)January 02, 2023
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Insights Gleaned from My 30-Day Coffee Replacement Experiment (Epictetus - Discourses 2:18; Seneca - Consolation to Helvia 11:14; Letter #39)December 14, 2022
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Musings on OpenAI in Light of Stoic and Jewish Concepts of the Soul (Aurelius – Meditations 2:2,17; 3:16)December 07, 2022
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Reflection on Counting 52 Weeks of My Life (Seneca – On the Shortness of Life)December 01, 2022
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500 Days of Gratitude (Epictetus - Discourses 3:12, Aurelius - Meditations 5:20, 10:16)November 23, 2022
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Reacting to an Event as a Slow-Motion Explosion (Seneca – Letter #99: On Consolation to the Bereaved; Aurelius – Meditations 9:36)November 21, 2022
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To Die Like Ben Azzai in Pardes … Would it Be So Bad? (Aurelius – Meditations 12:36)November 15, 2022
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B’Shem Hashem El Olam: Only God “Has Time” (Aurelius – Meditations 2:4)November 08, 2022
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You Can’t Be Present Yesterday (Aurelius - Meditations 2:14)November 03, 2022
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How Not to Not Not Care About Being Liked By Everyone (Seneca - Letter #52; Epictetus - Discourses 1:21; Aurelius - Meditations 7:62)November 01, 2022
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When Life Gives You Insomnia, Bake a Cake and Rejoice in Yisurin (Aurelius - Meditations 5:20)October 26, 2022
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Some Stoic Strategies for Being Late (Epictetus - Enchiridion 1,4,17; Aurelius - Meditations 4:8; Seneca - Letter #13)October 24, 2022
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The Short Prayers of Marcus Aurelius and the Kohen Gadol (Aurelius - Meditations 5:7)October 06, 2022
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Stoicism vs. Judaism on Motives for Righteousness (Aurelius - Meditations 5:6)September 12, 2022
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How to Grapple with Your Own Intellectual Inferiority (Aurelius - Meditations 5:5)September 07, 2022
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May We Have an Elul Filled with Suffering and a Painful New Year (Epictetus – Discourses 3:23)September 05, 2022
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How Stoic Invulnerability Works (Aurelius – Meditations 10:33, 4:8, 5:20)August 15, 2022
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Why I Can’t Take the “Stoic” Out of “The Stoic Jew Podcast”August 12, 2022
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Don’t Cry Over Spilled Almond Extract (Epictetus – Discourses 1:6)August 10, 2022
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My 48-Hour Fast, Marta bas Baisos, and the Boon of Halacha (Seneca – Letter #18; Epictetus – Enchiridion 50)August 08, 2022
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Do You Have People in Your Life Who Try to Convince You You're Unhappy? (Seneca - Letter #13)July 27, 2022
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Post-Insomnia Stoic Jew Self-Talk (Aurelius - Meditations 6:31)July 25, 2022
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When the IRS Acts as an Agent of God (Epictetus - Enchiridion 11)July 20, 2022
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