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

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lodge of Perfection is not hyperbole

Update since my last post: The Monday job interview had five people show up at the recruiter's office to meet the hiring manager. I believe I was the second person to interview. When I got home, the recruiter called me, and told me that they wanted me to come back for a second interview. The Tuesday job interview had five people at the company interviewing me in a conference room for an hour. The next day, the woman at the staffing office handling my case called me and told me that they really liked me, they felt that my skill set really matched the skill set needed for the job, and arranged a half-hour third interview for next Tuesday with the person who is the boss of the person who would be my boss if I got the job. It's a very positive step, and I'm very excited.

The quarterly Grand Communication was tremendously exciting for me. It's funny because a lot of senior brothers warned me that Grand Communication is just a big business meeting, and not to project too much expectation upon it, but my personal experience was richly rewarding. How can I explain this to people for whom this is totally outside of their experience? Every masonic lodge in Massachusetts is asked to send at least one representative, but the Worshipful Master, the Junior and Senior Wardens are requested to attend, and if they cannot, the Worshipful Master may assign a Proxy to attend instead of any of these brothers. There are between 200 and 300 masonic lodges in Massachusetts, 30+ districts each with their own District Deputy Grand Master, and a Grand Lodge with all the officers a Blue Lodge has, and a bunch of extra officers, like the Grand Pursuivant and the Grand Sword Bearer. There are four Grand Chaplains, two Grand Musicians, and all the living Past Grand Masters attend. The Active Members of the Scottish Rite, the leader of the York Rite bodies, and Grand Representatives of a myriad of other Grand Lodges are all there. The Grand Lodge room is an enormous lodge room, with a large balcony for extended seating. The ritual is crisp and flawless, and the Grand Master was an exquisite host who held the room the entire time he sat in the East. For little old me to sit among these distinguished gentlemen was tremendously exciting.

One man earned a 50-year medal for being a mason for 50 years. Another man won an award for having been made the Worshipful Master of his lodge 50 years ago. The Grand Organist, who happens to be the organist for my lodge (although ours is not his mother lodge) won the Joseph Warren medal for a lifetime of service to blue lodges, the Grand Lodge, and Scottish Rite. He is a wonderful man, and a friend, and I was delighted to congratulate him. The District Deputy Grand Master of my district, whom I've blogged about before, is also the Worshipful Master of a lodge in my district, and many of their brothers were there, and I sat with them, not finding anyone from my lodge. Incidentally, it was the mother lodge of the Grand Organist. Afterwards, I got to shake hands with the Grand Master, and, with the brothers I sat with, we met in a conference room for snacks and refreshments. It turns out that one of the brothers I met there I had met eleven years ago on tour with a rock band back when I used to be a roadie. He's now a luthier. These brothers were very hospitable to me, and it will be my great pleasure to visit their lodge at the next opportunity.

Tonight was a delight. The Boston-Lafayette Lodge of Perfection, in the Valley of Boston, hosted a dinner before their rehearsal for the upcoming one-day class the Scottish Rite is holding in April. While this was, in some sense, a sales pitch for the Lodge of Perfection, they were so delightful about it, and so brotherly, that it was an unmitigated pleasure to attend. There was a three-course meal, and it was my fortune to sit at the same table as the Thrice-Potent Master. The Chicken Cordon Bleu looked delicious, but as it wasn't kosher, I ate the filet of sole instead. There was a salad, baked potatoes, and an exquisite chocolate ganache cake. Then we toured the various places where the rehearsal for degree work was taking place: the makeup and costume area, the lighting board, the sound board, and finally, we were invited onstage to participate with the actors in the rehearsal. Afterwards, we were invited upstairs to the lounge area of the Lodge of Perfection for refreshments and conversation. The brothers of the Lodge of Perfection have been so friendly and genial that I cannot help but feel great affection not only towards them, but towards the Lodge of Perfection as a body. It is a wrench for me that they meet on Thursdays, and both my blue lodge and Lodge of Instruction both meet on Thursdays. That will mitigate how much I can contribute to this body, which is a shame. I would love to contribute to their endeavors to whatever extent I can, without sacrificing my commitment to my blue lodge, and without weakening my contribution to Lodge of Instruction.

I would be equally delighted if the other bodies of Scottish Rite in the Valley of Boston extended the same hospitality to me, and I await any future gestures of friendship and hospitality on their parts.

It is important to remind my readers that a mason's central commitment is to his blue lodge, and whatever he can contribute to the appendant bodies should be after he has exhausted his basic obligations to his blue lodge.

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