Can a Jewish Brother Wear a Yamaka in a Lodge Room?

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by scialytic, Oct 28, 2012.

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Can a Jewish Brother wear a Yamaka in Lodge?

  1. Yes

    87 vote(s)
    79.8%
  2. No

    12 vote(s)
    11.0%
  3. Only as Worshipful Master

    10 vote(s)
    9.2%
  1. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    All this discussion of BBQ is making me hungry!
     
  2. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Oh my, me too! Nothing like some good bbq...can't find any here worth a dang...
     
  3. samelevel

    samelevel Registered User

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  4. samelevel

    samelevel Registered User

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  5. Mike Martin

    Mike Martin Eternal Apprentice Premium Member

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    It's the same as the turbans our Sikh brethren wear in Lodge
     
  6. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    What if someone was wearing a religious piece of jewelry, when required to divest anything of a metallic nature, would they be required to so during that point in their Masonic journey? I think GLs should make it in writing that it is ok to wear any religious relics or symbols such as hats or jewelry while in lodge at any point if some religions require it. I'm not saying they shouldn't be allowed to because it bothers me in any way, but I'm sort of a stickler for fairness and rules. I'm all about diversity in our lodges for sure and if the GL says it's ok, then it's ok by me.
     
  7. BroBook

    BroBook Premium Member

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    No jewelry doing initiation !!!
     
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  8. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    When I was prepared I was asked if I was willing to take off my wedding ring and religious necklace. I had no trouble doing so for the degree after checking that i would get them back at the end of the evening. Later I learned this was a standard part of the preparation that doesn't always get taught to new brothers new to preparing candidates -

    When a candidate hesitates to take off his wedding ring we offer a band-aid and tell him that during the degree it's a part of his body not a metal object. That he'll remember the wording later. Same with a religious jewel. I've seen a candidate lean over the Bible and big gold cross came out and thumped the Bible. A few of us gasped in surprise. A steward groaned in frustration at forgetting that part of the preparation.
     
  9. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Then in that regard, maybe no hats in lodge too. Religious or not...There is a reason for no metal therefore there's a reason no hats.
     
  10. samelevel

    samelevel Registered User

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    First of all: it's not a hat
    Second of all: It's meant to be freedom of religion and not freedom from!
     
  11. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    I've read that their is debate still as to whether or not it's a religious requirement or more of a tradition. Also, most Jewish people only wear them in synagogue, weddings or funerals. It is a cap by definition or head cover. Also, would jewelry be allowed during the parts where metal is not allowed or is that making someone's freedom of religion compromised? I think we're treading into waters that are a little iffy. The Masonic lodge isn't a place of worship and really, we're under that lodges constitution as long as we are participating in ritual, meetings or any other Masonic ceremony of that lodge or GL. We're all on the level in their and frankly, wearing any religious regalia should maybe be in the realm of talking about religion or politics in lodge, right? Should we wear Vote for Bernie pins as a freedom of speech? I don't think so. Let's keep it simple I say and abide by the rules.
     
  12. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Fortunately, ours say you can wear them. And our GM does because he happens to be Jewish. My understanding is that, particularly when taking obligation, they are taken under the sight of the GAOTU hence the head gear is appropriate.

    At the end of the day, is banning it helping or hindering the Craft ? The issue kind of reminds me about people arguing about Freedom of women in Islam and women being "oppressed" by the hajib, then in the same breath banning women from wearing it removing the choice of doing so - thereby removing their Freedom.

    If we get bent out of shape by a pin, or a hat worn by another freemason - are we truly practicing acceptance and tolerance ? I'm a great supporter of "no religion or politics" at lodge, but also that being all on the level DOES NOT MEAN we all need to be the same. Indeed the diversity and tolerance and acceptance within Freemasonry is something which I am proud of and enjoy.

    We should look to what unites rather than divides, yet still allow and be tolerant of individual expression.

    I guess I am a bit coloured by living in a very multicultural society, yet being used to see what brings us together rather than what divides...
     
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  13. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    We had a candidate once who had a bracelet that he was obligated to wear. We didn't delve into the details, we respected his beliefs, wrapped a cloth around his wrist, and conducted his degrees. There was a small muttering in the sidelines, but only from the usual suspects.
     
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  14. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    It's truly not a big deal to me but I'm sort of a stickler for rules. We can argue in circles all day about what's a hat or not or if it's religious freedom but I'm sort of a guy who says if your GL says it's ok, then that's great. If another says not, then maybe it's not. It should be rewritten maybe to where it says no hats or headcovers except of religious nature are ok. It's not discrimination of a group of people as with the gay or black issues on other forums, it's a simple restriction of certain clothing items that the person can immediately put back on when he's out of the lodge and yet still be a full member of our fraternity. But I digress.
     
  15. The Traveling Man

    The Traveling Man Registered User

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    Definitely nothing metal during Initiation. A candidate, if truly prepared in his heart, should be able to understand the importance of it and shouldn't mind removing his ring for an hour. If he is told that early in the process he will have a few months to embrace it before he's Initiated. As for religious headgear, I don't know how I'd feel. I probably wouldn't give much thought to it if I entered Lodge and saw someone wearing one. But I'd prefer no one wear headgear. We all meet on the Level in Lodge, there is no need to wear something that separates one Brother from the others.
     
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  16. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    I couldn't agree more. If the rules say what they say then we need to abide by them as far as I'm concerned. It's not about taking religious freedom from these gentlemen it's simply following the rules of the lodge where we are all on the same level.
     
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  17. admarcus1

    admarcus1 Registered User

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    Jewish religious requirements are not determined by majority rule. Like Christianity and Islam, it is not a monolithic religion. Most Jews do not keep strictly keep kosher or the sabbath either. That does not therefore make them optional for me.
    Secondly, for those who wear one, it is not an outward sign, nor is it "regalia". Covering ones head is a required sign of respect to God.

    I don't wear one all the time, and I don't actually wear one in lodge, with an exception. My denomination requires the wearing of a yarmulke when in the synagogue or when saying a prayer, or when handling/reading/using scripture. So I put mine on when taking an obligation. I would wear it in the role of Chaplain, if asked to do that.

    If I were forbidden from wearing it while taking and obligation, I would not be an officer or, in fact, a Mason.

    Comparing it to wearing a political pin doesn't make sense. It is not a constitutional issue. The constitution applies to government anyway. The issue is what we want are fraternity to be. If we have a rule which effectively bars individuals based on their religious belief for which exceptions can be made with little or no negative impact, we should be doing it. Strict adherence to this rule effectively bars religiously observant Jews, Muslims, Seikhs, and many others. Do we want to tell a man that respect for the WM trumps respect for the GAOTU?

    Rules that can be modified to be more inclusive should be. Should we go back to excluding people who have been disfigured? We make accommodations so that good men who would be excellent Masons are not excluded. And that change is more than one of Masonic etiquette or protocol.




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  18. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    That would create quite a conundrum.
    In some states, the WM removes his hat for the obligation, removes his hat for prayer, removes his hat for any scripture, and doffs it any time the word "G" is said. There is even a portion of ritual that says "uncovered heads" as a sign of respect.
     
  19. admarcus1

    admarcus1 Registered User

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    We have part of our ritual that says that the candidate is kneeling at the consecrated altar, and we have had candidates unable to physically kneel. We have other places where what is stated in ritual does not exactly match what is physically done. Somehow, we manage. The history and ritual must be preserved, but where the spirit of Freemasonry and common decency require small accommodations, I fall on the side of decency and inclusiveness.


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  20. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    No conundrum for me.


    We also have "ancient penalties" which now act as symbols - just as head gear does. I would not offend a brothers religious needs in order to comply with a symbolic masonic practise in a lodge room which vary the world over and can be changed at the whim of a GM or ritual committee and in many countries are not prescribed. Ritual books and traditions are not some sort of unflexible rite, they are a tool to teach and as such we should not get hung up on them but use them to TEACH ... and here, I would teach TOLERANCE AND ACCEPTANCDE AND FLEXIBILITY AND RESPECT – where hat wearing fell out at the end of all that is not really that important to me and I am sure the GAOTU does not give a flip beyond treating each other well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
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