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.