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

Saturday, February 21, 2009

One Mason may know another

Neither GM could make it, but it was a great night all the same. One of the things that draws me to freemasonry is the remarkable men I met whom I probably wouldn't meet any other way, at least not in such numbers. I genuinely like these people. I guess it shouldn't keep surprising me but it does. At dinner I was sitting at dinner with an elderly Past District Deputy Grand Master who was very funny and down-to-earth. I really like the men who were raised that night. One brother is a Marine, who ships out to Afghanistan very soon, but I hope the others continue to show up regularly.

Today at synagogue, a rabbi who attends our synagogue when he is not attending his own duties brought a young Muslim man from the Ivory Coast to Saturday morning Shabbat services. He showed up early for Torah study, and asked really sharp, penetrating questions. He was a little bit surprised that we were delighted when he asked difficult questions, rather than annoyed. The name "Israel" means "one who wrestles with God", and we do a lot of God-wrestling at my synagogue. This week's Torah portion is Mishpatim, which is a bunch of rules dropped into the middle of the narrative. The rules range from how to compensate someone who gets gored by an ox, to the enigmatic "Thou shalt not boil a kid in its mother's milk." He was impressed that his questions were taken seriously.

During the service, he asked me if I was a Mason, and told me that he was as well. After exchanging fraternal grips, I explained each part of the service to him, and its meaning. He was impressed with the line from Psalm 150: "Every thing that breathes, by breathing, praises God." After the kiddush (blessing of the bread and wine), and oneg (lunch), he stayed for nearly an hour to talk about Judaism, and to ask questions about observance, about how Judaism had evolved over the years, and how our version compared to the Orthodox. We exchanged cards, and I told him I would be delighted to welcome him to my lodge for a visit.

I haven't really talked about unemployment very much in this blog, but I have a job interview on Thursday. I'm really excited, because I have a good friend at this company, and it's near where I live, and looks like a great company to work for.

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