Courtesy of, and written by
Rabbi David M. Honigsberg passed away on Tuesday March 27, 2007 of a heart attack. He was 48 years old.
Rabbi Honigsberg wore many hats: besides his rabbinical work, he was a singer/songwriter, a guitarist, a writer, a game reviewer, a graduate student, a Kabbalah expert and teacher, and an online quality assurance professional. He was mere weeks away from receiving his Master of Arts in Jewish Studies from Jewish Theological Seminary, which will be awarded posthumously.
Born on September 13, 1958 in New York City to Charles and Marilyn Schwartz Honigsberg, Rabbi Honigsberg was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and attended the University of Hartford from 1976 to 1978, where he achieved his Associates Degree, and also where he met his future wife. Alexandra Elizabeth Honigsberg—a priest in the Apostolic Orthodox Catholic Church—married Rabbi Honigsberg on May 24, 1981. They moved to New York City, where they continued to live and work.
A musician from his days as a high school student, Rabbi Honigsberg wrote and performed extensively over the years, particularly in recent times. From 1994 to 2000 he was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist for the rock/blues/country band the Don’t Quit Your Day Job Players. The DQYDJP performed at science fiction conventions, New York City clubs, college campuses, and county and state fairs, and released two CDs, TKB (1996) and Blues Spoken Here (1999). After the band split up, David pursued a solo career, releasing two CDs of his own, Ten the Hard Way (2001) and The Pattern (2006). He was in the midst of a tour in support of The Pattern at the time of his passing.
His writing career ranged from short stories in the fantasy and science fiction genre—published in such anthologies as The Ultimate Silver Surfer, Magic: The Gathering: Tapestries, Elric: Tales of the White Wolf, On Crusade: More Tales of the Knights Templar, and Bruce Coville’s UFOs—to gaming work, most notably Ars Magica Kabbalah, an Ars Magica Sourcebook that combined his love of gaming with his scholarly interest in Kabbalah.
He was ordained a rabbi at the New Synagogue on June 27, 2000, but even before that, he was a spiritual advisor to many of his friends and acquaintances, always ready to provide assistance, aid, a shoulder to cry on, or an ear to bend. After his ordination, he regularly performed weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, and funerals with his unique combination of studiousness, warmth, and joy. His scholarly articles appeared in the newsletter of the Order of St. Michael and Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, and he presented his paper Pre-Kabbalistic Philosophy in the Age of Augustine at Oxford University. He also regularly taught Kabbalah workshops out of his home, and both he and his wife were active in the interfaith community. Several of his sermons and articles can be found online at http://www.DavidHonigsberg.com.
Rabbi Honigsberg is survived by his wife, his parents, and his brother Michael.