Speech for Nava’s Bat Mitzvah

I delivered the below speech on the occasion of my eldest daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. The formatting/pacing is designed for my delivery, not for reading – so I offer my apologies in advance.   It is so wonderful to have so many smachot (joyous occasions) that we had to bring the Torah readings into extra innings […]

The Purity of Tzarat (Speech)

This week, I’m going to talk about Tzarat (Biblical Leprosy). It might seem like a particularly boring subject, but I think it’s fun. I think, by the end of this, you will too. Let’s step into it by starting with the basics. First, those who suffer from Tzarat (Biblical Leprosy) are isolated. They are surrounded […]

Chana Cox Funeral Service Video

The service was engaging, entertaining and rewarding with an overflow crowd. She was an impressive woman and I’m delighted we managed to honor her in this way. I’m producing another playbill with memories from the service and beyond…

The Loss of my Mother (my older brother’s eulogy)

Chana Cox created her legacy as she lived: she wrote, passionately, reflexively, and with deep intellectual rigor. I have endless childhood memories of waking up in the morning and finding my way to my mother’s room. She would be at her desk and typing, at a speed that always impressed the heck out of me […]

A Woman of Words (my eulogy)

My mother, Chana Berniker Cox, passed away this Shabbat at dawn in her mountaintop home. I want to share a few things about her. It will, of course, only be a small slice of who she was. My mother was born in Detroit, Michigan. My mom grew up with Yiddish as a first language, only […]

My Mother’s Books

My mother is why I am a writer. She passed away this morning (as I write), March 3, 2019. Please, take a moment, read the below and learn from her. If you want, buy or borrow a book and learn some more. She lived a rich life steeped in the real world – and she […]

Make Us a God (Speech)

This is a speech I delivered in Overland Park Kansas City as a visiting Scholar. I want to thank the community for the opportunity to speak.   I have never been to Kansas City. At least, I’ve never stopped my car here. But in a way, this is down home week for my brother and […]

Numbers

I open the door to my new office and step in. A cardboard box is in my hand. It has everything I need. I look at the room, with its two walls of tinted glass, its clean carpet and its massive desk. It smells of industrial carpet cleaner, generously applied. It seems to perfectly match […]

Law and the Road to the Jubilee (speech)

This one is a bit technical, but well received. So I figured I’d share it here. In Parshat Yitro (Torah reading of Jethro), the people were told to be ready to ascend the mountain Bimshoch HaYovel.  They were to ascend the mountain when they experienced the transformative entry into the Yovel (Jubilee). But then the […]

Boulevard

The lights flash by on the Boulevard. A light rain has lifted oils off the road. They shine in the streetlights, giving the asphalt a rainbow hue. Their smell rises up from the road and mixes with the exhaust of the cars, filling the air with a gritty scent. As the cars pass by, all […]