LA FRANC MACONNERIE

EN ISRAEL

PAR LE TVF Roger Nicolet

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19 JANUARY 1966

19 JANUARY 1966

 

Early in a foggy morning, Ill. Bro. GRASSIANI and myself accompanied Dr. and Mrs. SELTER to Ben-Gurion Airport. At the foot of the stairs to the place, l presented our homages and good wishes for a safe return to our kind guests.

On 7 February 1966, Ill. Bro. SELTER wrote me the following letter, written in German:

 

"We had hoped to find somebody who could write this letter

in French but, unfortunately, there is no one. Therefore,

you will have to have it translated.

We sincerely thank you for having facilitated our stay, from

the beginning of our flight till our return to the airport,

and for having helped us to benefit from our visit to dear Israel.

Time has passed as if we had a wonderful dream, and we would

never be capable of relating all that we experienced.

10.We were happy to see Dr. SCHALSCHA during a week he stayed

in Frankfurt, and we gave him the little package.

Perhaps you will be happy to remember the small picture from

the National Park.

Best regards and again thank you for everything.

Emile - Liesl SELTER

 

30 MAY 1966

 

ILL. Bro. GRASSIANI was admitted to Hadassa Hospital in Tel-Aviv, on Balfour street. His condition worsened from day to day.

 

8 JUNE 1966

 

Our team, Dr. GOLDIN, W.M. A CANDREA, Dr. A. BASSARAB. Jacques BENATAR and myself, were in constant consultation, because disturbing noises were heard from Ill. Brethren who were fighting for the coming succession to Papa GRASSIANI.

Later, I learned that some Brethren had already written to Dr. SCHALSCHA, who did not reply their letters.

 

9 JUNE 1966

 

The doctors treating Papa GRASSIANI at Hadassa Hospital placed his fate in the hands of God. We placed the whole team on alert and, following a suggestion by Dr. GOLDIN, Dr. BASSARAB and myself, we decided for the sake of justice to hasten the Coronation of Ill. Bro. GRASSIANI

ad sovereign Grand Commander.

We phoned ILL. Bro. Ionel BRANISTEANU in Upper Nazareth and requested his opinion. He expressed his support. All of us being in agreement, and maintaining secrecy, l wrote an urgent letter to Dr. SCHALSCHA, as follows:

 

Dr. E. SCHALSCHA

BADEN-BADEN

 

Most ILL. and Powerful Sovereign Grand Commander, Knowing you affection for Ill. Bro. GRASSIANI I take upon myself, in a fraternal and purely personal manner, to inform you of the great apprehension we feel regarding the state of health of our dear Papa GRASSIANI.

 

It's been several days now that we have been prevented from talking to him. I do believe this is the most difficult period in his life. Your presence at his bedside would lighten his last moments.

Close to his bed in Hadassa Hospital, his valiant wife and many Brethren keep watch over him. The doctors treating him have placed his fate in the hands of God. This is why, seeing the gravity of his condition, we raise fervent prayers to the G.A.O.T.U. to lengthen his days.

 

We were all expecting that blessed day in November 1966 which would have marked the crowning of ILL. Bro. GRASSIANI's long Masonic career, and we were all rejoicing over the realization of the objective of his existence, that is, world recognition of the Supreme Council for Israel.

 

Shall it be so, or will the G.A.O.T.U. decide otherwise?

 

I would be most grateful if you would inform the L.S.G.C., Dr. SELTER, who also holds Papa GRASSIANI dear. Please transmit my respectful compliments to your daughter and trust, dear Dr. SCHALSCHA, in my deep affection.

 

Roger NICOLET

 

13 JUNE 1966

 

Dr. SCHALSCHA announced me personally, by telegram, his arrival in Israel on Wednesday, June 15, via Alitalia flight 797 (see enclosure).

 

15 JUNE 1966

 

I awaited for Dr. SCHALSCHA on his descent from the plane. I took him in my car to the home of Dr. GOLDIN, where Brethren CANDREA, BASSARAB and BENATAR were also waiting.

During the trip from the airport to Tel-Aviv, I had ample time to put Dr. SCHALSCHA up to date about Papa GRASSIANI's state of health and all the maneuverings going on concerning his succession.

Consequently, I begged Dr. SCHALSCHA to confer on Papa GRASSIANI the title of Sovereign Grand Commander of the State of Israel before death could complete its work.

After arriving at Dr. GOLDIN's home, all expressed their worry about the sick man's state of health and his close demise, according to the doctors.

It was agreed that the next day we would all assemble at papa GRASSIANI's bedside and that Dr. SCHALSCHA would advise us about his decision concerning our request.

Dr. A. BASSARAB offered to come into GRASSIANI's bed chamber first, to give him an injection to strengthen him before the unexpected emotion of meeting his great friend.

I put Dr. SCHALSCHA in at the Yarkon Hotel, street. on Hayarkon street.

 

16 JUNE 1966

 

At 9 in the morning, I came to the Yarkon Hotel to verify that everything was satisfactory. Dr. SCHALSCHA expressed his gratification and informed me that he awaited the visit of Bro. A. FELLMAN.

Brethren GOLDIN, BASSARAB, BRANISTEANU and BENATAR arrived at the hotel at the appointed time. Dr. BASSARAB preceded us to Hadassa Hospital.

Our delegation, which had been joined by Bro. A. FELLMAN, proceeded to Hadassa Hospital. The visit was emotive. Some words were exchanged. In his bed of suffering, Papa GRASSIANI recognized Dr. SCHALSCHA and extended his hand towards him.

AT 11:00 IN THE MORNING, DR. SCHALSCHA PROCLAIMED ILL. BRO. ISAAC GRASSIANI MOST ILL. AND P. SOVEREIGN GRAND COMMANDER OF THE SUPREME COUNCIL FOR THE STATE OF ISRAEL.

We hoped this declaration would have a salutary effect on Papa GRASSIANI. By the grace of God, this miracle took place.

 

17 JUNE 1966

 

At 9:30 l came to the Yarkon Hotel to meet Dr. SCHALSCHA. Dr. GOLDIN and Dr. BASSARAB had preceded me. At 10 o'clock we arrived at Hadassa Hospital to visit Papa GRASSIANI. There, we met Bro. A. FELLMAN.

We found that Papa GRASSIANI's health had improved over-night. He held a long conversation with Dr. SCHALSCHA and Bro. FELLMAN. When this was over, Dr. GOLDIN and I approached his bed, and he thank me, touching my cheek. We wept for joy at the miracle.

At 11 hours, Dr. Bassarab accompanied us to the entrance of the Hospital and we agreed to meet for lunch at 13 hours in the Hotel Samuel.

Since Dr. SCHALSCHA did not have any fixed plans, I proposed we made a brief tour with my car. We went to see the large hotels in Herzliya.

Unexpectedly, Dr. SCHALSCHA expressed his wish to meet my wife. From the first public telephone on the way, I phoned Dr. GOLDIN to explain to him the change in plans and cancel the lunch meeting with Dr. BASSARAB. Dr. SCHALSCHA made me the honor of coming to my home. I introduced to him my parents. He wished "Happy Anniversary" to my father, who that day celebrated his 73 years of age. While we had a long and friendly chat, my wife and my mother labored to prepare an excellent dinner. Dr. SCHALSCHA spoke to me about the philosophy of the 32 degree.

At 15 hours Dr. SCHALSCHA said goodbye to my family. I had the opportunity to film several sequences during the dinner. I accompanied Dr. SCHALSCHA to his hotel, where he had to receive

Dr. RON and Bro. FELLMAN. That evening, Dr. SCHALSCHA was invited by Dr. BASSARAB.

 

19 JUNE 1966

 

At 6:10 in the morning, land my wife came to the Yarkon Hotel to convey Dr. SCHALSCHA to the airport. After taking care of the usual formalities at the counter of Alitalia, I invited Dr. SCHALSCHA to breakfast.

 

Before departing, Dr. SCHALSCHA and I had the following dialog:

 

Dr. S.

When you wrote to me, did you believe l would come?

R.N.

Bro. SCHALSCHA, I counted on your arrival because I knew of your affection for Bro. GRASSIANI.

Dr. S.

I must admit that, when I received your letter, I was undecided for about a quarter of an hour. Then, I thought of the pleasant and very emotive gesture which Bro. GRASSIANI had towards me. A year and a half ago, when I came to Israel for the first time, after our trip to Tiberias, GRASSIANI took us to the mountains.

He descended from the jeep and went into a hut. When he came back, he was holding in his hands two saplings and two certificates. He handed them to me asking me to plant in these mountains two trees, one to perpetuate the memory of my late wife, and the other for myself.

This kind act on his part decided me to fly to his bedside. However, I still consulted with two of my Brethren in our Supreme council, and they also advised

me to come to Israel.

 

The hour was 8:00 and the loudspeakers announced the embarkment. I accompanied Dr. SCHALSCHA to his plane and thanked him for all he had done for us, invoking divine blessings upon him.

 

30 JUNE 1966

 

I received from Venice the following postcard from Dr. SCHALSCHA:

 

Dear Bro. NICOLET,

l am happy to receive from Bro. BASSARAB good news about Bro. GRASSIANI.

Again, a thousand thanks to your kind wife for your hospitality. Compliments to your parents.

Affectionately and fraternally,

Erich SCHALSCHA


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