Stoicism and Serving god with passion – Rabbi Leib Tropper -Written by David Gold

Lecture delivered in Pennsylvania during the summer . Recorded  and written by
David Gold
———————-
Marcus Aurelius praises his stoic tutor Sextus of Chaeronea for being free
From passion yet full of love AKA natural affection. (Meditations, 1.9)
Because the Stoics appear to have used the guidance of reason to pursue
Virtue it was easier for them to love the ordinary person. Reason offered them
A vision of some virtue in everyone. Emotion is often not fair and can be
Very discriminating.
The founder of Stoicism , Zeno of Citium which survived as a way of life for
Some for close to 500 years had a ‘ way of of life ‘ to offer. Modern day
Philosophers are not certain how to understand and apply the principles of
Stoicism today. A passionless life of virtue is a complex idea.
The Torah perspective is quite different. The performance of acts of virtue
Require passion , warmth or in Hungarian ‘patima’.
In the book of Psalms King David says “all my bones speak your praises”.
When a Jew is able to serve consistently with enthusiasm, warmth and
Passion he/she have reached the capstone of spiritual achievement.
In some houses of service, silence during prayers is the way of the seriously
Penitent communicate.. And carries a palliative component for the common
“Weltschmerz”.
We will soon see that the Jews in Egypt constantly raised their vocal
Protest to Hashem regarding their suffering. They CALLED out to G’D
Etc..far from a silent protest…
When Jews join in answering ‘yehay shamay raba’ in a gallant and vociferous
Manner , we are taught in the Talmud that the gates of heaven are opened
Even if they were closed.
The passion spreads to the physical as the body oscillates and the hands
Implore G’D for his intervention during what is called the silent shmone
Esray.
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