The musings of a previously unemployed Jewish Freemason. I write about the job search, about Judaism, and about Freemasonry.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The scythe and the beehive

I just came home from a masonic funeral, my second this year. I didn't know the deceased brother, who was a member of the other lodge that meets in our building, but was an honorary member of our lodge. Brothers from both lodges were there to see their brother off to that land from which no traveler ever returns. There was a good turn-out. The family seemed very grateful to have us there.

The old Past District Deputy Grand Master I had dinner with last week was there, and we talked afterwards. He told me that masonic attendance for masonic funerals really depends on the weather: when it rains or snows, very few brothers show up. I feel that attendance at masonic funerals is absolutely crucial. I canceled a paid job seminar to be there (I got a refund). It means a lot to the family, and it does our fraternity proud to have a good showing when a brother dies. It's the first and primary way that some people find out who we are and what we do. When a cop dies, cops show up to the funeral, even if they don't know the fallen cop. When firemen or marines die, other firemen or marines come to the funeral, even if they don't know their departed brother. It's the right thing to do, and that it brings us honor to do it is a nice side benefit.

The first masonic funeral I went to was for a Past Master of my lodge whom I had never met. I was the only brother who showed up who wasn't himself a Past Master. We had just enough brothers to perform the funeral ritual, but the family was so grateful. I talked to his widow, and was very moved by her reaction. Some people might find it weird that a bunch of men in aprons show up at a funeral, recite some words of 18th century English, and then depart, but I don't believe I encountered any of those people tonight.

I'm something of a hypocrite here, because my synagogue has put the word out for a minyan (10 people) to sit shiva (Jewish funeral observance) a few times when a family member of one of the worshipers dies, and I have yet to be involved. I really should participate the next time I'm asked.

I had a great interview at a start-up today. It was supposed to be for a half-hour, but I stayed for an hour and a half, and the last interviewer told me immediately that he wanted me to come back for a second interview. Usually I have to wait up to a week to be asked back to a company, so I'm taking this as an indicator of keen interest on their part. I have a phone interview today at a company where my uncle is an administrator, and I have a friend and former co-worker who works there and gave me a good recommendation.

Lodge of instruction tonight, hosted by the other lodge that meets in our lodge building.

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