The next time you go to Lodge and sit down on the sidelines, take a look at the brother on your right. Do you have his number in your phone? Take a look at the brother on your left. Do you have his number in your phone? How well do you know your brothers? Would you feel comfortable asking your brother for help or advice if needed? Would you help him or give truthful advice if he asked?
The principal tenets of Freemasonry are Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. These tenets are intertwined because you can’t have one without the other. You cannot be one’s brother unless you are willing to be true to them and give them aid. This is how you express love.
In many jurisdictions, a charge is given when a Lodge is closed. In that charge, we are challenged to remember that we have “solemnly bound” ourselves to “relieve every Brother who shall need your assistance.” But do we actually do this? Do we use the excuse of our cable tow being too short too often? Being a father of two children not yet in school, I know that I am guilty of this.
Along with giving help to our brothers in need, we need to ensure that a brother is not too proud to ask for help. In many Jewish circles, you are encouraged to ask for help when you need it. When you ask for help, you are giving someone an opportunity to fulfill their obligation to do a mitzvah. A mitzvah is often translated to mean a good deed, but it actually means commandment. In the Jewish faith, there are 613 mitzvot or commandments that need to be observed. A number of them are related to being true while giving aid to those who are in need. The word mitzvah is related to the Aramaic word tzavta, which means to attach or join. By fulfilling the mitzvah and Masonic tenet of Relief, you are creating an attachment to your brother, a connection for Brotherly Love to flourish.
My challenge to you is the next time you need help, ask your brother for it. Do you need advice? Ask your brother for it. The next time you hear the call to help a brother in need, show your brotherly love and heed it.
Bro. Adam Samuel Roth was raised in Anacostia Lodge No. 21, now Anacostia-Pentalpha Lodge No. 21, in Washington, DC and is a member of Acacia Lodge No. 16 in Clifton, Virginia. He has held numerous officer positions in both lodges. He is also a member of the Scottish Rite, Valleys of Washington (DC) and Alexandria, and the Kena Shrine in Manassas, VA. Bro. Roth is a devoted husband and father who works for a government agency in the United States of America.