Manage episode 281591268 series 2821125
Call to mind by way of example the time of Vespasian: you will see everything the same: men marrying, bringing up children, falling ill, dying, fighting, feasting, trading, farming, flattering, asserting themselves, suspecting, plotting, praying for another's death, murmuring at the present, lusting, heaping up riches, setting their heart on offices and thrones. And now that life of theirs is no more and nowhere. Again pass on to the time of Trajan; again everything the same. That life, too, is dead. In like manner contemplate and behold the rest of the records of times and whole nations; and see how many after their struggles fell in a little while and were resolved into the elements. But most of all you must run over in mind those whom you yourself have known to be distracted in vain, neglecting to perform what was agreeable to their own nature, to hold fast to this and to be content with this. And here you are bound to remember that the attention paid to each action has its own worth and proportion, only so you will not be dejected if in smaller matters you are occupied no farther than was appropriate.
R’ Yosef ibn Kaspi – Bereishis 50:26 (translated by R’ Yehuda Rappoport in his blog post The End: Death and Purpose)
And Yosef died when he was 110 years old—it is a man’s end/destiny to die. And though when he was alive “Yosef gathered grain like the sand of the sea,” and “Yosef collected all the silver” nothing was left of all his toils—only his soul remained which went to Gan Eden.
And so Shlomo Hamelech said, “Everything that is in your power to do—do.” Meaning, the gaining of practical and theoretical wisdom, as he concludes his words and says, “For there is no deed, or consideration, or knowledge, or wisdom in the place that you are heading to.”
And these are the four kinds of perfection that Aristotle and Plato mention.
In summary, “The final word, after all has been heard: God—fear; His commandments—keep; for this is the whole of man.”
If you have questions, comments, or feedback, I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact me at rabbischneeweiss at gmail.
Farquharson translation of The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
Gummere translation of Letters from a Stoic Master (Seneca)
Long translation of The Discourses of Epictetus
Carter translation of The Enchiridion (Handbook) of Epictetus
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/rabbischneeweiss
"The Mishlei Podcast": https://mishlei.buzzsprout.com
"The Stoic Jew" Podcast: https://thestoicjew.buzzsprout.com
"Rambam Bekius" Podcast: https://rambambekius.buzzsprout.com
"Machshavah Lab" Podcast: https://machshavahlab.buzzsprout.com