Author Archives: Rabbi Asher Knight

Chadesh Yameinu: A Season of Renewal in the Midst of a Pandemic

Sep 01

Part of what has made this year so painfully difficult is the sense of powerlessness in the midst of the pandemic. Many of us have made “if only” statements. If only we could turn back the clock. If only we could have done more to prevent illnesses and death. If only we could have averted […]

The Blessing of Transitions

Jun 01

The Mishnah’s Tractate Berakhot starts with a discussion about how and when we sing of the Shema, the foundational prayer of our faith. The rabbis ask a question about whether a person can interrupt one’s singing of the shema – a prayer to God – to acknowledge and greet another person. The tradition is clear […]

The Dance and the Dimmer Switch: Our Plan to Reopen the Building

May 18

Dear Temple Beth El Family, I write this letter to you having just visited the Blumenthal Sanctuary. I went to record a video, check-in on our building, and retrieve a few books from my office. It is in our sanctuary and sacred spaces at Temple where we pray, where b’nei mitzvah lead our congregation in […]

Caring for Our Communities and Neighbors Together

May 18

The Charlotte region has thousands of diverse faith communities impacted by the persistent and serious threats associated with COVID-19. Each faith community has found creative ways to express our core beliefs and spiritual practices under the social distancing guidelines. We yearn for connection and the chance to worship together. We understand and respect Governor Cooper’s […]

Discover Meaning by Making Meaning

May 01

We are not the first generation of Jews to live through periods of great uncertainty. If any group can face tough challenges, it’s us. The Jewish people have flourished by adapting to new circumstances and boldly choosing to walk towards the horizons of possibility and hope with each other and with God. At Temple Beth […]

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 […]