Author Archives: Rabbi Knight

Navigating the December Dilemma

Dec 04

Nothing stirs up feelings quite like the winter holiday season. Celebrations that should be joyful can become a source of conflict. Someone recently reflected to me, “I get anxious just thinking about it. The Christmas tree in the living room was a source of tension instead of joy. We were both angry.” She asked, “Rabbi, […]

Shavat Vayinafash: Be Still and Breathe Again: Kol Nidre 5780 Sermon by Rabbi Asher Knight

Oct 08

This summer, after an intense eight months, Ana and I took Micah and Jonas to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. We stayed in a rustic cabin with family. There was no television or cell reception. We spent our days outdoors hiking, exploring, swimming, taking naps, reading, laughing, and avoiding bears. The long summer days were […]

The Values We Express When We Disagree: Rosh Hashanah 5780 Sermon by Rabbi Asher Knight

Sep 30

Two thousand years ago, Jewish leaders were engaged in a serious debate. According to the book of Deuteronomy, financial debts were forgiven every seven years. Imagine taking out a mortgage or a school loan and having the entire loan forgiven in the seventh year. It sounds great! Unless, of course, you are the Charlotte banker.  […]

United in Purpose and Mission by Rabbi Asher Knight

Jan 28

On January 7th, Temple Beth El’s Board of Directors passed a new Core Purpose and Mission. The process of listening to our members, learning about their vision of congregational life, writing the new mission, editing, and considering the nuances of language took a year and a half. The process began under Ginny Rosenberg’s presidency with […]

Reflections Following Pittsburgh by Rabbi Asher Knight

Nov 07

Reflections following Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue November 2, 2018 Tragedy upon tragedy – ripples upon ripples. A community of worshipers at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – were killed in the sanctuary of their synagogue on last Shabbat. And the ripple effect: In Charlotte, members of our community here at Temple Beth […]

Build Connections with Us by Rabbi Asher Knight

Oct 24

My grandmother and I had an incredible relationship. We traveled to Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Egypt together. She introduced me to new ideas, books, art, and music. I remember watching world-events on the news and talking about the unfolding of history. She shared the wisdom gleaned from what she had experienced and seen throughout […]

Choosing to Live While Standing in the Shadow of Death (Kol Nidrei 5779) by Rabbi Asher Knight

Sep 18

Video of this sermon One day a group of American tourists traveling in Eastern Europe, went to visit the Chofetz Chaim. (In the rabbi world, famous rabbis have nicknames). When the tourists came to see him, they saw the world-famous Rabbi in a small study with a rickety desk and only a few books. One […]

Emunah: Rebuilding Faith in An Era of “In Nothing We Trust” (Rosh HaShanah 5779) by Rabbi Asher Knight

Sep 11

Video of this sermon On December 14th, 2012 Noah Pozner and 25 other victims were murdered at Sandy Hook elementary school. Noah was a sweet, vivacious, six-year-old Jewish boy. We remember this horrifying news day well. In the years since, conspiracy groups have claimed that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax. Noah’s parents, Lenny […]

The High Holy Days: Self Compassion in the Uncertainty of Certainty by Rabbi Asher Knight (Charlotte Jewish News Editorial, September 2018)

Sep 06

Years ago, during a visit to the Cairo museum, I stared into the face of Ramses II. Mummified and frozen in time, his body delicately preserved since the time of his death in 1213 BCE. Tradition tells us that Ramses enslaved and tried to destroy our people. My family was surprised (as were a few […]