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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.

Recent Episodes

Rationalizing Self-Destructive Behavior Through Counterfeit Values (Seneca: Letter #123 - On the Conflict Between Pleasure and Virtue)April 16, 2021 Episode artwork How to Escape the Compulsion of Comparing Yourself to Others (Seneca: Letter #123 - On the Conflict Between Pleasure and Virtue)April 15, 2021 Episode artwork The Compulsion to Compare Yourself to Others (Seneca: Letter #123 - On the Conflict Between Pleasure and Virtue)April 14, 2021 Episode artwork Rosh Chodesh as a Tool for Measuring Stoic and Jewish Progress (Seneca: Letter #123 - On the Conflict Between Pleasure and Virtue)April 13, 2021 Episode artwork How to Make Bad Food Taste Good (Seneca: Letter #123 - On the Conflict Between Pleasure and Virtue)April 12, 2021 Episode artwork Reflection on a Year of COVID and the Sanctification of Time (Aurelius – Meditations 4:47)March 23, 2021 Episode artwork Epictetus on How Adherence to Judaism Leads to True Freedom (Epictetus: Discourses 4:4)March 22, 2021 Episode artwork On Deviating from Self-Imposed Routines (Epictetus: Enchiridion 50)March 19, 2021 Episode artwork How the Jedi Order Gives Stoicism a Bad Name, Part 2: Obi-Wan (Seneca: Letter #71 - On the Supreme Good)March 18, 2021 Episode artwork How the Jedi Order Gives Stoicism a Bad Name, Part 1: Yoda (Epictetus: Enchiridion 3,7)March 17, 2021 Episode artwork Seneca's VERY Non-Jewish Reason for Studying Physics and Metaphysics (Seneca: Letter #65 - On the First Cause)March 16, 2021 Episode artwork The Stoic Approach to Tefilah (Seneca Letter #67 - On Ill-Health and Endurance of Suffering)March 15, 2021 Episode artwork TSJ Q&A: “Why Did the Stoics Get Their Metaphysics Wrong?” (Seneca: Letter #64 – On the Philosopher’s Task)March 12, 2021 Episode artwork Coffee: One of Life’s Delights or Just Hot Bean Juice? (Aurelius – Meditations 6:13)March 11, 2021 Episode artwork Triggered by Rationality (Seneca: Letter #66 – On Various Aspects of Virtue)March 10, 2021 Episode artwork On Living Each Separate Day as a Separate Life (Seneca: Letter #101 – On the Futility of Planning Ahead)March 09, 2021 Episode artwork On Stoic Compassion for Those Who Stumble (Aurelius – Meditations 6:27; 7:22,26)March 08, 2021 Episode artwork TSJ Q&A: "Are You a Stoic?" (Epictetus - Enchiridion 51:3)March 05, 2021 Episode artwork When Luxuries Masquerade as Necessities (Seneca: Letter #86 - On Scipio's Villa)March 04, 2021 Episode artwork Thank You to My Students, Be They Many or Few (Seneca: Letter #7 - On Crowds, Conclusion)March 03, 2021 Episode artwork How to Deal with Blushing, Stage Fright, and Other “Uncontrollable” Reactions (Seneca Letter #11 – On the Blush of Modesty)March 02, 2021 Episode artwork Bruce Lee on Dynamic Combat and Why Pirkei Avos Isn’t For Everyone (Seneca: Letter #22 – On the Futility of Halfway Measures)March 01, 2021 Episode artwork Seneca on Purim Drinking (Seneca: Letter #18 – On Festivals and Fasting)February 25, 2021 Episode artwork Seneca on Kiruv and Kohanim (Seneca: Letter #5 – On the Philosopher’s Mean, Part 2)February 24, 2021 Episode artwork Kidush ha’Shem and Kidush ha’Stoicism (Seneca: Letter #5 – On the Philosopher’s Mean, Part 1)February 23, 2021 Episode artwork