(Reprinted with permission of the author)
Peace and Harmony Prevails
Living in Charleston, SC affords a Mason who enjoys visiting other lodges
the opportunity to visit a large selection of different lodges all within a 30
minute drive of each other. Especially during the first two weeks of the month
a Mason could conceivably visit a meeting of a different lodge or appendant
body every night of the week. The opportunities for meeting and fellowshipping
with brethren are sometimes staggering. In the act of availing myself of this
Charlestonian Masonic opportunity I had a uniquely wonderful Masonic experience
a few years ago.
I was visiting Pythagorean Lodge, which I frequently do. I barely got there
before the lodge room door would be closed and as I signed the visitor section
of the attendance log, I noticed a uniquely Germanic name – Uwe Muehller.
Looking over to his lodge affiliation I read: Todtenkopf und Phoenix – Berlin.
My father having been a POW in World War 2 in Germany, I had instilled in me
from my father an interest in most things German from an early age. I was
excited to have the chance to meet and greet a German brother, especially in
Charleston of all places. I found him and talked with him long enough to learn
he was Junior Warden of his lodge (called 2nd Warden in Germany) before the craft
was called to order. After we went through the routine opening ritual and
introductions the Master said he was especially honored to introduce 2 visitors
– the first was the brother from Germany. The second was brother Moshe Abuderam
who was there from Israel to see his son Eli take his first step in Masonry. The
Master then made us aware that the following day (Friday 2May08) was Holocaust
Under what other circumstances would a 60 year-old Israeli and a Berliner
sit in peace and harmony with a roomful of Americans and all be perfectly at
ease except in a Masonic Lodge? What a learning experience for us all.
Regardless of any enmity that may exist outside the walls of the lodge, within
the walls of a lodge we are all brothers first. Religious differences,
political differences, personal prejudices, they all are insignificant when
viewed in the context of our brotherhood. So also then should any differences
between us within our own lodges be viewed in the same context. We say our
order brings together men who otherwise might have remained at a perpetual
distance. We shouldn’t let what petty differences that do exist divide us. We
shouldn’t cling to the fairy tales of the past when the light of logical truth
has exposed them to be such. We should allow ourselves to embrace the
preponderance of similarities between us all and ignore the minor differences.
Otherwise we will be forced to admit that we really do just study the ritual to
be able to recite it, not in order to obey it. If a Jew and a German can meet
on the level and part on the square in a Masonic lodge, what could possibly be
worthy of dividing us?
Tom Lewis Jr PM