Rabbi Peter Knobel z”l has died after suffering a massive heart attack almost two weeks ago. A gadol b’dor, a giant of this generation, a tzaddik, his Hebrew name was Tzaddik. He brought the love of Jewish learning — the place where Torah and intellect meet — to thousands. He chaired the Central Conference of American Rabbis and was our first family rabbi at Beth Emet The Free Synagogue. He led the drive to create a new Reform Siddur, Mishkan T’fillah, and was the first rabbi to encourage me to explore my voice as a Jewish writer. This prayer, dedicated here to Peter, was first published as “Private Meditation on the Death of a Beloved Public Figure.” Even as public eulogies begin, many of us will need private meditations for grieving.
For Rabbi Peter Knobel, z”l
Source of blessings,
Deal kindly with the soul of Rabbi Peter Knobel,
Who left a legacy of Torah and righteousness in this world,
A legacy of love, care and inspiration,
A legacy for the generations.
Rock of comfort,
So many were touched by him,
As was I,
And grief casts a shadow over my heart.
Even as his legacy is celebrated publicly,
With honors and praises due,
Hear my personal prayer,
My private grief and loss.
Let his memory become a light
For the days and years ahead.
And let those memories, private and public,
Grow stronger with the passing time,
Becoming a well of consolation.
G-d of all being,
Grant a perfect rest under Your canopy of peace to Rabbi Knobel,
May his soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.
© 2018 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
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Photo Source: Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership