The Dangers of Freedom (Speech)

Early in this week’s Torah portion, the Bnei Israel (Children of Israel) find themselves trapped by Egypt. Pharaoh has brought his entire army, and no fewer than 600 choice chariots.   It seems like the Jewish people are in a hopeless position.   But think about the numbers. The Bnei Israel have 600,000 men alone. […]

Busan

My chair is pushed back just a bit from the table in front of me. A low light hangs over it, piercing the cloud of cigarette smoke and illuminating the rough and desperate faces that surround it. Waitresses circulate, wearing clothes too close cut to be appropriate in any normal establishment. Of course, this place […]

The Haversham Trust

The view out the windshield of the car is dark and shifting. There’s no rain. My headlights pick up the shape of the uneven pavement as they bounce over it. My window is open, warm air rushing into the cabin of the truck – keeping me alert and awake. The air smells of evergreen forests […]

The Writ of Heaven (speech)

I’ve decided to publish my speech in Synagogue from last week. It was well received, so perhaps you might enjoy it… As children we read the story of Yetziat Mitzraim (Exodus from Egypt) in a very simple way: Hashem (G-d) chooses Moshe (Moses). Moshe ate a bunch of coals when he was a kid. So […]

The Contract

The thin material of the door thwacks weakly as I knock on it. I’m in the middle of a long hallway – made up of prefab building blocks linked together. The place looks decent, but the lines where the sections meet are marked by little bumps in the carpet and the walls. Nothing lines up […]

Dementia (Speech)

This is my speech on Parshat Vayechi – as delivered in Kehillat Lechu Neranena. — At the opening of this Parsha, we see Yaacov in an incredible state. His own son needs to be introduced to him. And then one moment he is discussing the future while the next, he seems to relive his wife’s […]

Congo

Note: The below story is violent. In addition, I talk about an African version of Christianity that seeks to leverage the spirits of ancestors to help in the present world. It is a concept that (as presented) is very foreign to most forms of Judaism. But some do pray at the graves of great Rabbis […]

Interview with SassonMag!

I recently interviewed with the editor of SassonMag. She writes: Author Joseph Cox has an unusual, Torah-based vision for peaceful co-existence that flavors much of his fiction writing. In this fascinating interview, Joseph describes how his unconventional childhood in Oregon contributed to his highly original take on Jewish fiction. And also explains how a Jewish […]

Time

I open my eyes and am greeted by the image of a woman. I think I know her from somewhere, she seems very familiar. I’m in a bathroom, and she is there as well. The edges of my vision seem hazy, the lights near the mirror seem ill-defined. But she is there. She’s sharply defined. […]

Cactus

While the following story contains imagery commonly associated with other belief systems, it is part of a dvar Torah (explanation of Torah). In other words: be patient, there’s a point 😊 The thin green smell of the boiling cactus is strong within the hut. Its moisture coats the walls and ceiling. Its smell mixes with […]