The Stoic Jew

Seneca Letter #2 - On Doing Nothing (Part 3 of 4) Naval Ravikant's Take

February 04, 2021 Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss Season 3 Episode 4
The Stoic Jew
Seneca Letter #2 - On Doing Nothing (Part 3 of 4) Naval Ravikant's Take
Show Notes

Seneca – Letter #2
Judging by what you write me, and by what I hear, I am forming a good opinion regarding your future. You do not run hither and thither and distract yourself by changing your abode; for such restlessness is the sign of a disordered spirit. The primary indication, to my thinking, of a well-ordered mind is a man’s ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company.

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Naval Ravikant – Twitter thread from 5/15/2020

Rambam – Mishneh Torah: Sefer Ahavah, Hilchos Tefilah u’Birkas Kohanim 4:16
What is the practical procedure for kavanah (intention)? That a person should empty his mind of all thoughts and see himself as if he is standing before the shechinah (divine presence). Therefore, he needs to sit for a little while before tefilah in order to direct his mind, and afterwards he should daven with pleasantness and supplication. And he should not make his tefilah like one who is carrying a burden who casts it off and goes on his way. Therefore he must sit for a little while after tefilah, and only then may he depart. The early pious Sages would pause for an hour before tefilah, and an hour after tefilah, and they would extend tefilah for an hour.

Rambam – Peirush ha’Mishnayos, Berachos 5:1
The meaning of "shohin" is that they would wait; in other words, they would wait before tefilah for an hour, and in it their conversation and their thoughts would cease, and then they would begin to daven.
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If you have questions, comments, or feedback, I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact me at rabbischneeweiss at gmail.
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Stoic texts:
The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
Letters from a Stoic Master (Seneca)
The Discourses of Epictetus
The Enchiridion (Handbook) of Epictetus
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