Author Archives: Rabbi Asher Knight

May the Sacred Season of Blessing Begin

Sep 01

They are called the Days of Awe. But all too often the logistics of the High Holy Days take away from their power.  We worry about planning meals, service schedules tickets, parking, streaming, managing our schedules or our kids’ school requirements.    If this last year-and-a-half has taught us anything, it is that all the logistics are not what really matters. The old […]

Counting Our Blessings and Summer Reading

Jun 01

As I write this article, we are in the midst of counting the S’firat Haomer. So often, we count down – the days to a birthday (especially for our children), the minutes until the half-time or the seconds before the launch of a rocket or when a new secular year begins. 10-9-8-7…. There are even apps on our phones that can count down for […]

See Yourself in the Passover Story of Resilience

Mar 01

It’s hard to consider that we have lived through over a year of COVID. Last year at Passover we said, Mah nishtanah halilah ha-zeh: Why is this night different from all other nights? But the difference wasn’t just in eating matzah. Our first pandemic Passover tasted like a bitter herb dipped twice into salt-water tears. […]

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, […]