The Stoic Jew

To Die Like Ben Azzai in Pardes … Would it Be So Bad? (Aurelius – Meditations 12:36)

November 15, 2022 Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss Season 10 Episode 8
The Stoic Jew
To Die Like Ben Azzai in Pardes … Would it Be So Bad? (Aurelius – Meditations 12:36)
Show Notes

Synopsis: The Gemara tells us that four of our greatest Sages “entered Pardes (the Orchard)” – that is, they embarked on the study of the deepest areas of metaphysics. One of those sages was Ben Azzai, who “glanced [at the Orchard] and died.” In this episode we unpack what that means, as explained by the Rashbatz, and we examine the practical ramifications for the role that learning plays in our life, in light of a passage from Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, and the concluding chapter of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations.

Related Rabbi Schneeweiss Content:
- How to Choose What to Learn Before You Die 

 - Oliver Burkeman, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, pp.222-24
- Chagigah 14b
- Rashbatz, Commentary on the Haggadah: Arbaah Banim
- Aurelius, Meditations 12:36
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