Some Judaic Aspects of Freemasonry

Discussion in 'Masonic Education' started by Blake Bowden, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Good question. I would assume similarly to KT or SRICF. They require a Christian belief, at least the SRICF does. I think there are other Orders that may as well have a Christian requirement the deeper down the rabbit hole you go. If you professed to be Jewish or of Jewish faith, I suppose that would be as adequate as any other question we are asked within Masonry about our faiths.
     
  2. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Yes, RCC, CBCS, AAR in England, ROS all require a profession of either the Christian faith or that one be a Trinitarian Christian. KYCH does so by the KT prerequisite.

    So, “Do you confess the Jewish belief?” would be the question? Hmm. I’ll defer to our Jewish brethren on that one.

    I wonder how the requirements were for the erstwhile Order of Judas Maccabeus were phrased.
     
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  3. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    Not quite on topic but the Scottish rite local to me requires a Christian faith- I personally find it quite hard to understand the requirement.
     
  4. Winter

    Winter Premium Member

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    I would posit that the reason is that any group with a restricted membership for Jews is too easy to become a target for anti-Semitic attacks. Even among my fellow enlightened Freemasons.

    Good question since even among Jews we cannot come to a consensus as to what qualifies. :)
     
  5. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    See the note above yours. A number of appendant/side orders have the requirement. I’ve not seen the degrees of that jurisdiction, and so unless the reason is a Christian construct the degrees, I couldn’t provide the “why” for your AAR.
     
  6. Winter

    Winter Premium Member

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    I know I have been part of this particular argument before (and it never ends well) but, any Masonic group, degree, body, or affiliated part thereof, that restricts its membership based on a person's religion is directly contrary to the basic premise of our Order.
     
  7. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I agree it is contrary to the popularly believed premise of the Order. There are so many GLs with exceptions, qualifications to that premise, that I not believe it to be correct.
     
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  8. Winter

    Winter Premium Member

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    We can make it the actuality instead if enough of us are willing to. ;)
     
  9. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Well, assuming all the GLs could be convinced by their membership to change their requirements, how do you go about amending the requirements, and in some cases the ritual, of all the side organizations even in just the US, let alone the world?
     
  10. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    Not sure about your jurisdiction However we had a recent seminar from the appendant orders and the prevailing theme was that the appendant bodies are struggling and the Christian orders are having the hardest time.
     
  11. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    In my experience, many of the larger side orders are struggling. OTOH, some of the newer, such as Operatives, and smaller, such as AMD and CBCS, are doing well. AASR in the US (which is not Christian) has seen a drop off, consistent with the decrease in Masonry in general. I don’t see it as being impacted by the Christian requisite.
     
  12. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    We are seeing a decline as it’s another barrier to entry, keeping in mind my country as a whole is quite young and organised religion just isn’t as prevalent here.
     
  13. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Organized religion has seen a decrease generally in the Western World.

    As organized religion isn’t a prerequisite, I’m not persuaded that is the issue.

    May I ask, in which side orders are you involved?
     
  14. Elexir

    Elexir Registered User

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    Here in sweden nearly all fraternitys have problems with membership so I dont think a christian requirment has anything to do with it. Its just how society is.
     
  15. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    Currently none-
    All orders here require 2 years as a MM prior to being considered.
    As I said previously, we had a conference with the appendant bodies who where all keen to find members however as we a fishing a shrinking pool as it is having the religious requirement reduces the candidate pool further and my area just doesn’t have the population density to sustain it long term, in my estimation.
     
  16. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    I am not a suitable person to answer that question myself but perhaps "Do you follow the teachings of the Torah?" Or "Were you born of a Jewish parent or parents?" I would think having a Torah, and only a Torah, open during the ritual of this hypothetical appendant body would make sense as well. Judaism seems to be the hardest of the Abrahamic religions to define I suppose.
     
  17. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Very true especially with recent events.
     
  18. Winter

    Winter Premium Member

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    The problem is, as my Rabbi says, "If you put two Jews in the same room, you have three opinions." Orthodox Judaism only recognizes matrilineal decent while other branches recognize patrilineal. As for following the teachings of Torah you could have both Christians and Jews claiming to do so as those faiths are based on it. And it only gets more confusing from there. I can pretty much guarantee that most of my fellow Jewish Freemasons have no interest in creating a Jewish only appendant body or side order. Many of us, myself included, love our Craft because of the openness and inclusiveness, regardless of faith. We have an opportunity to be an example of how to come together. But when we divide ourselves based on faith it doesn't help our cause.
     
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