Audio Roundup 2020:45

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by Joel Rich

I listened to a podcast from earlier this year interviewing Brian Greene a well-known physicist.
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/108-brian-greene-until-end-time-mind-matter-our-search/id1352860989?i=1000468647766

If anyone has a chance to listen to it I’d be interested in hearing their thoughts, my understanding (or lack) follows.

One topic was free well. Brian is a physicalist but tries to explain how we might have free well or the perception of it. I’m not sure I understood it and I’d appreciate some help.

He also states that it’s better to believe that there is no outside force that gives purpose to our lives because that allows us to determine our own purpose. If I understood correctly, we all look into our own gut to figure out what we feel gives our individual lives purpose.

Ethics and morals also come from our guts but he does allow that other civilizations might have their own which differ from ours

Very interesting however was how he allowed that saying Kaddish with a minyan when his father died was very meaningful to him to attach to the ancient tradition rather than something recently mad up.

I’ve listened to a lot of similar podcasts and I still have not found the answer to the question that if you really believe this why not just do whatever makes you individually happy and I care about what anybody else or civilization thinks.


I guess you could consider me right wing modern Orthodox (whatever that means) but I’ve been thinking a lot about how both the modern Orthodox community And chareidi community should relate to recent developments in Israel. In particular Rav Chaim’s edict to open the yeshivot in defiance of the government rules. How do we think about both the individual leader and the community that follows that leader if we think that this is an extremely dangerous protocol both from a health standard and public relations standard.

I have a similar feeling about the US but I think in Israel it’s more pronounced.


Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].

About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent local lecturer on various Torah topics in West Orange, NJ and supports his Torah listening habits by working as a consulting actuary.

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