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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

TSJ Interlude - A Stoic Pep Talk on My Mild Anxiety About Meeting Up With My Dad's Family for ThanksgivingNovember 24, 2021 Episode artwork The Crown of Torah and the Crown of Stoicism (Seneca - Letter #53)November 19, 2021 Episode artwork C'mon, Marcus, Is Inner Peace REALLY That Easy (Aurelius - Meditations 5:2)November 17, 2021 Episode artwork Honoring Bad Parents and Relating to Hashem (Epictetus - Enchiridion 30)November 15, 2021 Episode artwork Rav Hirsch’s Stoic Take on Bli Neder (Seneca – Letter #13)November 12, 2021 Episode artwork The Habit of Hating Handshakes (Epictetus – Discourses 3:12)November 10, 2021 Episode artwork Self-Hate in Stoicism and Mishlei (Aurelius – Meditations 5:1)November 08, 2021 Episode artwork How to Get Out of Bed on a Cold Morning (Aurelius - Meditations 5:1)November 05, 2021 Episode artwork Are Humans Naturally Inclined Towards Virtue? (Rufus - Lectures 2:7:1-2)November 01, 2021 Episode artwork Take the Short Road (Aurelius – Meditations 4:51)October 29, 2021 Episode artwork Scattered Thoughts on Prolonging Life (Aurelius - Meditations 4:50)October 27, 2021 Episode artwork Immunity to Misfortune (Aurelius - Meditations 4:49)October 21, 2021 Episode artwork Aurelius vs. Akavya ben Mahallalel on Memento Mori (Aurelius - Meditations 4:48)October 19, 2021 Episode artwork 100 Days of Gratitude (Seneca - Letter #81: On Benefits)October 15, 2021 Episode artwork TSJ Interlude: Struggles with Perfectionism ... AGAIN (Aurelius - Meditations 10:16)October 14, 2021 Episode artwork TSJ Milestone: 200 Episodes and the Value of Talking About Virtue (Aurelius – Meditations 10:16)October 11, 2021 Episode artwork Seneca on the Mabul and the Destiny of Mankind (Seneca – Natural Questions 3:28-30)October 08, 2021 Episode artwork You Will Die Today ... OR Tomorrow (Aurelius - 4:47)October 06, 2021 Episode artwork Heraclitus, Koheles, and Mufasa (Aurelius - Meditations 4:46)October 04, 2021 Episode artwork Seneca and Sukkos (Seneca - Letter #18: On Festivals and Fasting)September 20, 2021 Episode artwork TSJ Interlude: Vidui Yom ha’Kippurim and Memento MoriSeptember 15, 2021 Episode artwork TSJ Interlude: Removing the Evil of the DecreeSeptember 14, 2021 Episode artwork Rosh ha'Shanah 5782: Yom ha'Din in Light of Stoicism (Aurelius - Meditations 4:45)September 06, 2021 Episode artwork Does Stoicism Promote Catastrophizing? (Seneca – Letter #91: On the Lesson to be Drawn From the Burning of Lyons)September 02, 2021 Episode artwork Life as Reruns of a Scary Movie (Aurelius - Meditations 4:44)September 01, 2021 Episode artwork