[Square & Compasses]

Letter of the month: April 2002

} From: "www.knadiasmusic.com" <help@knadiasmusic.com>
} Subject: Islamic and Judaic Oaths
} Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 11:00:47 EDT.
} Greetings Brother,
} If a man had to take his upon the Holy Torah (because he is
} Jewish) or the Holy Qumran (because he is Muslim), what
} scriptures in the Qumran and the Torah would have to be open
} for the candidate to take his oath upon these two Holy
} books. What would be the equivalent scriptures to Psalms,
} Amos, Ecclesiastes as we normally do with the Holy Bible.
} Thank you,
} Robert SO. Zeigler

From: <dryfoo@MIT.EDU>
Message-Id: <200204101519.LAA28246@aeroastro-2.mit.edu>
To: "www.knadiasmusic.com" <help@knadiasmusic.com>
Subject: Re: Islamic and Judaic Oaths
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Wed, 10 Apr 2002 11:00:47 EDT."
Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 11:19:18 -0400

Dear Bro. Zeigler,

I can only help you with how things are done in Massachusetts. You will probably want to check with other jurisdictions as well, and of course with your own grand lodge.

First of all, it is "Quran" or "Koran" not "Qumran" -- no "M". "Qumran" is, I think, the site where some of the "Dead Sea scrolls" where discovered.

Next, a Jewish candidate would use the Holy Scriptures, similar to what Christians call "The Old Testament" which consists of more than just Torah (or "Law"). It also includes "Prophets" and "Writings", or in Hebrew "Nivi'im" and "Ketuvim" -- which is called (from those initials) "TaNaKh". And it happens that Psalms, Amos, and Ecclesiastes are all found there anyway.

In our Massachusetts lodges, those sections of the Bible you refer to are read aloud during the candidate's perambulation (although in Massachusetts we use Psalm 133 "Hineh ma-tovu" instead of Amos). But if we ever had the tradition of opening the Bible to those sections, the practice has long since faded.

I actually tried to observe that practice when I was master, going so far as to buy a set of book-mark ribbons in three shades of blue, each printed with the chapter/verse name and number and putting them into our altar bible. But I could never get the marshall to use them properly when he opened the lights, and gave up after two years.

So in lodges around here, since we open the bible at random somewhere in the middle, and we do likewise with the Tanakh or Quran. And we read the same passages for every candidate.

| Gary L. Dryfoos <dryfoo@mit.edu>| Ocean Lodge AF&AM, Saugus, MA (PM)
| P.O.Box 425400, Camb, MA 02142  | Mt. Scopus Lodge AF&AM, Malden, MA (PM)
|                                 | Richard C. Maclaurin Lodge, MIT, MA
|  "A Page About Freemasonry"     | Internet Lodge #9659, E. Lancs UGLE   
|  http://mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/ | 32~; MPS; B'hood o/t Blue Forget-Me-Not 
|                                 | RWG Rep.GL Russia near GL Massachusetts 
| "...one sacred band, or society of Friends and Brothers, among
|  whom no contention should ever exist, save that noble contention,
|  or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree."

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