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I'm creating podcast episodes offering practical wisdom for everyday life -- solutions to modern human concerns -- informed by the ancient philosophical school of Stoicism popularized by thinkers including Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius. Improve your quality of life by implementing a strong mental framework informed by Stoic Philosophy! I explore topics such as gratitude; acceptance; overcoming adversity; finding meaning in life; moderation; dealing with change; friendship; lonelines ...
 
The Enchiridion (also translated as “Handbook” or “Manual”) of Epictetus is a short collection of Stoic precepts compiled by Arrian, a student of Epictetus. Epictetus (c. 50 – 135 AD) was a Greek philosopher and a champion of Stoicism, a philosophy dedicated to tranquility of the mind and soul via practical, actionable advice. Popular in the ancient and medieval world, it has even found favor in the contemporary military; fighter pilot James Stockdale attributed his survival of over seven ye ...
 
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The Stoic Jew

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The Stoic Jew

Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss

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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 ...
 
You might think you know what it takes to lead a happier life… more money, a better job, or Instagram-worthy vacations. You’re dead wrong. Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos has studied the science of happiness and found that many of us do the exact opposite of what will truly make our lives better. Based on the psychology course she teaches at Yale -- the most popular class in the university’s 300-year history -- Laurie will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surpr ...
 
Do you want to change your life? Join the 100 Days To Self Mastery Challenge! Your host Kevin McNamara takes the lessons he has learned from inspirational leaders like Marcus Aurelius, David Goggins, Jordan Peterson, Seneca, Epictetus, Amelia Earhart and others and brings them to life in the modern times we live. Kevin healed prostate cancer through natural means without medical intervention, lost his daughter, Holly, to SIDS when she was 5 months old and was a member of the Police Force in ...
 
YOUR TV IS LYING TO YOU - Students of Knowledge, Eastern Philosophy, History, Conspiracy, Leadership, Truth, Self Realization -Strategy - Knowledge is liberation. The whole world is in a state of fear and mind control. The only way to overcome Fear is Love. The Family and the Tribe are now under assault. Divide and conquer has the world at war for Oil Natural resources and world domination. We all need to Unite and allow love to unite us all. Your TV and the main stream Media is Lying to you.
 
Philosophy can be a confusing subject. Join me, Tobias Weaver on a podcast exploring practical Stoic philosophy with the aim to help you to develop the conditions of your mind to improve the conditions of your life. Here we'll explores the ideas of ancient philosophy, modern philosophy, Stoicism and psychology to outline ways to take ownership for our well-being and build a steady resilience to life's hardships. In the face of increasing stress, anxiety, depression and general threats to men ...
 
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Synopsis: This episode begins with a review of what I think of as the three stages of Stoic development. I then share a new way of conceptualizing these stages as three ways we relate to fate (i.e. to those things we cannot control), which I apply to a situation of uncertainty I am currently facing in my life. Related Rabbi Schneeweiss Content: - T…
 
You're listening to the Stoic Solutions Podcast - practical wisdom for everyday life inspired by the ancient tradition of Stoic Philosophy from Greece and Rome. I'm your host, Justin Vacula. Visit my website at StoicSolutionsPodcast.comThis is episode 102: Confined to Align: A Journey to Wellbeing. I speak with author Ashley Lyn Olson about her rec…
 
Many of the most painful or troubling emotions we experience are reactions to events that have actually happened - but one powerful and sometimes paralyzing feeling can be provoked by things as yet to occur. Say hello to anxiety. Psychotherapist and meditation teacher Andrea Wachter spent much of her life being stalked by the physical and mental ma…
 
Synopsis: This is the second installment of a two-part reflection on my upcoming Winter Break 2022. In today’s episode, we revisit the excerpts from Seneca and Marcus Aurelius which I reflected on after Winter Break 2021, and reexamine them in light of the tools I’ve gained since then. Next, we discuss my discovery of avodah zarah thinking in my ap…
 
Synopsis: This is the first installment of a two-part reflection on my upcoming Winter Break 2022. In today’s episode, Seneca and the Meiri join forces to give me permission – within the framework of my own psychological drives – to take this winter break, and actually use it to relax and recharge. Related Rabbi Schneeweiss Content: - Thank Iron Ar…
 
You're listening to the Stoic Solutions Podcast - practical wisdom for everyday life inspired by the ancient tradition of Stoic Philosophy from Greece and Rome. I'm your host, Justin Vacula. Visit my website at StoicSolutionsPodcast.com.This is episode 101: Philosophy in Poetry with Dr. William Irwin. Dr. Irwin and I talk about his new books ‘Alway…
 
Synopsis: What does it mean to "live an authentic life" or to "be an authentic person"? In this episode I argue that the answers given by Judaism and Stoicism are closely related, if not identical - in contrast to the popular conception. I then apply this idea to a rather amusing experience that happened to me a few months ago. Related Rabbi Schnee…
 
Most of us don't like to think about death - and when we experience a bereavement we're often not prepared for the pain or willing to confront all the feelings grief can bring. Psychotherapist Julia Samuel says the paradox of grief is that we need to let it rage through us with its full force if we are to process it effectively. Julia is the author…
 
Grief is a simple enough word, but the emotional journey it describes is chaotic, messy and unique to each person. Psychotherapist and bereavement expert Julia Samuel (www.grief-works.app) joins Dr Laurie Santos for the second time to describe strategies which we can all use to help us navigate grief more effectively. Julia says there is no right o…
 
Synopsis: Today is my 38th birthday! In this episode I reflect on where I was last year at this time, what happened in between, and where I hope I’m going. Related Rabbi Schneeweiss Content: - TSJ Interlude - 37th Birthday Reflections: On the Allegory of the Soldier - Torah as Melachah (Craft) - Simone Biles is My Hero Sources: - Aurelius, Meditati…
 
Uncomfortable emotions such as anger, guilt or loneliness are like the guiding beam of a lighthouse - they warn you of dangers ahead and help you navigate a meaningful life more effectively. Harvard Medical School psychologist Susan David tells Dr Laurie Santos why many of us choose to ignore negative feelings or suppress them - when we should be e…
 
We need to pay attention to our negative feelings - since they are telling us important things which we should address if we are to be happier in 2022. But often we just can't tell different emotions apart or have the proper words to describe what we are feeling. Social worker and author Brené Brown joins Dr Laurie Santos to explain how we can more…
 
Synopsis: I recently attended the wedding of a dear friend. It would be accurate to say that the dancing at the wedding started out the same as at any Orthodox Jewish wedding and ended as a rave. In this episode I argue that this was a GOOD thing, and that it reflects a concept I suspect is unique to Judaism: simchah shel mitzvah. The episode concl…
 
Synopsis: In today’s (short!) episode we compare Epictetus’s unrealistic and inhuman standards of grieving (or lack thereof) with the tempered and realistic alternative taught by Seneca, as codified by the Rambam in the Mishneh Torah. The explanation Seneca provides for why people grieve excessively raises an interesting question about the psychody…
 
Synopsis: I came across a quotation from Thoreau which resonated with me, thanks to my “Counting the Weeks of My Life” experiment. In this episode we expand upon Thoreau’s thoughts with excerpts from Epictetus, du Lair, and Pirkei Avos. Related Rabbi Schneeweiss Content: - Remember that You're ALREADY Dead - How to Shower Like You're Dying - Counti…
 
The Happiness Lab returns on Jan 3 to help you take a fresh, new year look at the emotions that make us sad, angry or uncomfortable. We often either ignore these feelings, or wallow in them. Neither strategy will improve our happiness and wellbeing. So in 2022 join Dr Laurie Santos and guests including Brene Brown and Adam Grant to work out how to …
 
Synopsis: I recently started reading a book called The Anatomy of Peace. This morning’s reading triggered an insight into another critique I have of Epictetus’s Stoicism, beyond what I’ve expressed in the past. In my opinion, Marcus Aurelius’s Stoicism doesn’t partake of this flaw in the same way, and Judaism’s ethics actively opposes it. This is a…
 
You're listening to the Stoic Solutions Podcast - practical wisdom for everyday life inspired by ancient philosophers of Greece and Rome. I'm your host, Justin Vacula. Visit my website at stoicsolutionspodcast.com.This is episode 100 - An Extraordinarily Ordinary Life: Lessons Learned with Tim Carlin.In An Extraordinarily Ordinary Life, Tim draws o…
 
Synopsis: Since today is the 10th of Teves, I decided to devote the episode to a reflection on how the very existence of The Stoic Jew Podcast is directly related to one of the three events we commemorate on this day – namely, the translation of the Torah into Greek. Related Rabbi Schneeweiss Content: - TSJ Interlude: A Defense of This Podcast - As…
 
Synopsis: Last night I gave a Chumash shiur on the brief and bizarre conversation between Yaakov Avinu and Paroh in Parashas Vayigash. Three of the interpretations we learned featured Stoic ideas: two from Shadal (one in the name of Rav Reggio and Gesenius, and the other in the name of his late son, Filosseno), and another from Rav Hirsch. I decide…
 
Synopsis: I seem to be on a memento mori kick as of late. In today’s episode I discuss the biggest impact (thus far) of my “Counting the Weeks of My Life” experiment, which I spoke about in one of last week’s episodes. For those who are turned off to memento mori practices because they see them as overly negative or morbid might find Marcus Aureliu…
 
Synopsis: Today we return to a familiar theme: how to live like it’s your last day. In past episodes we’ve discussed the challenges to implementing this in practice. Thanks to some insights from Mark Nepo and Steve Jobs, I think I’ve found another piece to the puzzle. This is one of those “thinking aloud” episodes in which I explore how these ideas…
 
Synopsis: In today’s episode I reflect on the unique experience I had in which I counted every single week of my life. Like, I physically marked off each of my 1,977 weeks on the “Weeks of My Life” calendar I bought on Amazon. Will this help me to internalize the ideas in Tehilim 90:12, Seneca’s On the Shortness of Life, and Thornton Wilder’s Our T…
 
We all want to do good - and doing good can make us feel good - but we often don't make the most effective choices when we do things like donate money to charity. To mark #GiveTuesday, Harvard psychologist Joshua Green explains why we tend to give with our hearts rather than our heads. And why this means we don't do the most good possible with ever…
 
Synopsis: In today’s episode I muse out loud about some thoughts I had on and about Thanksgiving in light of my Thanksgiving meal and my reflections on my 21st geriversary (i.e. anniversary of converting to Judaism). This week's Torah content has been sponsored in memory of Rabbi Dr Leon & Frances Gersten. Related Rabbi Schneeweiss Content: - TSJ I…
 
Synopsis: This Thanksgiving (i.e. tomorrow) I'll be meeting up with my dad's family. Some I haven't seen in a few years; others, in a decade; others in two decades; still others, I've never met. I thought I wasn't nervous about this reunion, but the fact that I woke up this morning at 3:30am and couldn't stop thinking about it would suggest otherwi…
 
If we decide that we can't get better at things, or that our ideas and personality traits are fixed... then we hinder our ability to change and improve in enjoyable and fulfilling ways. But by challenging ourselves to be more hopeful about our prospects for improvement we can see profound changes in our lives. David Yeager, a psychology professor a…
 
Presenting: An Excerpt from Miracle And Wonder: Conversations With Paul Simon by Malcolm Gladwell and Bruce Headlam. Download the audiobook today at miracleaudiobook.com and receive an exclusive listener's guide pdf featuring additional commentary from Bruce, the producers and editors of Miracle and Wonder. Learn more about your ad-choices at https…
 
Synopsis: In my Rambam Bekius Chavurah we’ve been learning Hilchos Talmud Torah Chapter 3, in which the Rambam prescribes guidelines for attaining the Crown of Torah. I recently came across a letter from Seneca in which he tells his pupil, Lucilius, what he’ll need to do in order to succeed in the life of philosophy. I couldn’t help but notice the …
 
Synopsis: This morning we attempt to understand Marcus Aurelius’s nonchalant statement about how easy it is to instantly attain inner peace, which is reminiscent of Moshe Rabbeinu’s nonchalant statement about how easy it is to fear Hashem. The question that prompted this episode is the question in the title: is it really THAT easy? This week's Tora…
 
Synopsis: In this episode we explore the parallels between the halachic and Stoic approaches to kibud u’mora av v’eim (honoring and revering one’s parents), in light of an observation made by Moshe Halbertal in his biography of the Rambam. This week's Torah content has been sponsored by Shirley, and since she didn't specify a dedicatory message, th…
 
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