I’m late with this because I’ve been out of town, but I do want to acknowledge the passing of my friend, Rabbi David Honigsberg.
I can’t exactly recall when I first met David, but I thought it was cool he was hanging out with us science fiction/publishing geeks until I realized he was one of us. David has published short stories and has written for RPGs. But he’s also a musician, formerly of the Don’t Quit Your Day Job Players, a band I’m sorry to have never seen. Additionally, David was a computer tech guy, who did such work to help pay for his religious studies.
David was a rabbi; his wife Alexandra is a priest. They had a marvelous marriage and often performed their duties in tandem. I had the pleasure of only seeing this happen once, at a friend’s wedding, but they were a well-oiled team. They delighted in their faiths but more they delighted in each other. If David performed somewhere, Alex was right by his side. If Alex had a concert, since after all, she was also a musician, he could be counted on to be in the audience.
David did not have a congregation and didn’t seem to desire one. Still, I would see them most Wednesdays as part of a circle of friends and when I heard of his death, I realized our circle was his congregation. Without his friendship, loyalty and guidance, we are all the poorer for it.
While he and I were part of the circle, we weren’t especially close, not as close as some of the other relationships were. Still, when I got the call Tuesday morning that his second heart attack in less than year claimed his life, I was stunned and saddened. David was too good a friend, too loyal a member of his faith for his passing to make any sense at all. (There’s also the pesky fact that we’re the same age and you took one look at him, you’d never peg him as the candidate for heart disease.)
The outpouring of commentary on blogs, websites and in private e-mail lists, shows how his absence has begun to diminish us all.
Work this week, something I originally intended to write about, demands I be at the office tomorrow. His other friends and family will gather for the formal services that will send him off. I just want to thank David for being a friend, for being someone to chat with and someone who performed acoustic music I enjoyed hearing. I’ll miss him and hope he is at rest.