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Ask A Mason Ask A Mason en Copyright 2018 2018-08-19T18:19:09-05:00 Islam, the Mideast, and Freemasonry <p>Some months ago, Lion of Jordan inquired about joining Masonry and posted some informative comments which piqued my curiosity. We have been exchanging PMs for some time, both of us asking and answering the other’s questions.</p> <p>I have learned that LOJ is a fairly young man living in a country where Freemasonry is absolutely forbidden, and that to attract attention to himself as someone who is interested in Masonry would jeopardize his job, and probably worse. I think that some of the information he has given me is of considerable value, as it uncovers a view from a Muslim standpoint of much that we, as western (and mostly Christian) masons, understand in a different manner in some cases, and in the same manner in others. </p> <p>I’m hoping this thread will do two things: 1) Provide an opportunity to obtain information about Freemasonry to inquirers who are Muslims; 2) help the rest of us to understand the traditions and teachings of a huge number of people who are, in the current political atmosphere, viewed in the West with much suspicion and even hatred. I know that I myself have much to learn, and I’m sure that’s true of most of us.</p> <p>I hope that there will be input from friendly commentators, insde and outside of the Fraternity, to provide information, ask questions, and respond to questions. This, of course, will be on matters relating to history, tradition, the practice of masonry, etc; but no discussion of religion per se, as that would not be appropriate for a Masonic discussion.</p> <p>To get started, I will try to copy to this thread four PMs which I received from Lion of Jordan. Others which I received I won’t copy, because they contain some personal details, and I won’t post anything that might possibly be used to identify him. I specifically asked his permission to do this, and he agreed without qualifications. </p> 2010-03-12T12:20:03-05:00 I think the Lodge forgot about me… <p>I peitioned my local lodge shortly before they went dark for the summer.&nbsp; I didn’t have a connection per se, I just introduced myself at an open house last year &amp; it went from there.&nbsp; The current WM is the closest thing I have to a sponsor right now, he’s been my main point of contact since expressing interest.</p> <p>I was invited to the lodge’s welcome back picnic and was supposed to be investigated then, so that they could vote on my petition at the first meeting.&nbsp; It seemed like we all had a good time—except None of the investigating commitee showed up, and they were supposed to get in contact with me to arrange something so that my petition could proceed.&nbsp; Two stated meetings have gone by since then, and I’m starting to feel like I was pre-blackballed by the investigating comittee before even getting that far.&nbsp; But, I realize that there could be plenty of other factors holding it up—just feels like I should have gotten a phone call of some kind by now.</p> <p>What do I do?&nbsp; Initiate more contact, or just be patient? </p> 2009-09-23T20:53:37-05:00 Back to work <p>It has been quite a long time since I last wrote a posting on this site. In fact, I haven’t even checked in to read postings for some time. When ASK first appeared and I joined it, I used to check in first thing every day and posted often. In time, however, the success of ASK was such that we seemed to run out of new questions to deal with. The site was so successful that we certainly covered all the most commonly asked questions. </p> <p>At about the same time, I finished my second and third years as WM of my lodge and began a welcome retirement from all the duties that entails. The lodge also chose an official “ritualist”, an officer who is in charge of instructing and rehearsing the officers in the ritual. I had been doing that without any official title for many years, but was glad to have someone else take it up. The PM who did so (and is still doing it) is an extraordinary officer. He knows every syllable of all the work and also handles the instruction of the new brothers after the conferral of the degrees (I’m intentionally avoiding the “C” word here) along with serving as permanent Sr. Deacon. He first served as WM in 1959 and twice more around 2001 and is 90 years old!&nbsp; At about that time, I began having health problems, which have increased since then, so I’m frequently unable to get out to Lodge and I don’t attend officers’ rehearsals, consequently I have not participated in any ritual work for nearly 10 years.</p> <p>Last night, I felt pretty well and went to Lodge. The Lodge communication stated that it would be a normal business meeting possibly with some degree work. When I arrived I learned that we would be raising two candidates to the MM degree. The attendance was poor, due to a lot of members sick and the possibility of snow late in the evening. In fact, after we finished dinner and were ready to open, there were only 12 members present besides the two candidates. The WM asked me if I would serve as Jr. Warden for the evening. I agreed to do so, in spite of having no rehearsal, not even time to go over the part and with two difficult pieces of work (the Obligation, which is given to the candidate by the Jr. Warden in our ritual, and the “Grasshopper”, the piece of Ecclesiastes which begins the Hiramic drama). I was worried about going blank and forgetting where I was or forgetting pieces of the work, but happily it didn’t happen. As I knelt down and started the obligation, it came back without much effort and with only a couple of slight pauses while I searched my memory. When I walked the candidate around the room “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth” rolled out like it always has and the small number of brothers present resulted in everybody present having something to do. I really had a great time and I think everyone present did also. And it was great doing it for a man in his 20’s and another in his 30’s.</p> <p>I recount all this to give advice to those of you who are new lodge officers or thinking about becoming a lodge officer.<br /> * Learn all you can as soon as you can.<br /> * If asked, teach what you know to others. The best way to learn anything is to teach it to someone else.<br /> * Strive for perfection in every part; but even more important, learn to deliver it relatively slowly and with clear diction and in a confident manner with plenty of expression. Avoid sounding like you are doing a chore reeling off a memorized text (even if that’s what it is).<br /> * And after you become a PM, don’t disappear. You can still contribute and if you’re lucky, you will get to sit in now and then when they need you. </p> <p>I’m going to get back to looking into ASK and I think I’ll ask our WM if I can do the Master’s part some evening when we are doing the 1st or 3rd degree. That will keep my memory sound. </p> 2018-03-27T21:38:18-05:00 The Movable and Immovable Jewels <p>The EA Tracing board talks about Movable and Immovable Jewels.</p> <p>Now in the Grand Lodge of India as well as in the United Grand Lodge of England, Grand Lodge of Scotland, Grand Lodge of Ireland, and Grand Lodges in Australia the movable jewels are the Square, the Level and the Plumb Rule whereas the immovable jewels are the Tracing Board, the Rough and Perfect Ashlars (based on the ritual charges gathered from these lodges)</p> <p>The reasons for the same are:</p> <p>The movable jewels are called movable because they are worn by the Master and his Wardens and transferable to their successors on the night of Installation.<br /> The immovable jewels called immovable because they lie open and immovable in the Lodge for the Brethren to moralise upon.</p> <p>While reading the book Freemasonry by Giles Morgan, I found that in US (or at least in some parts of US) the lodges have interchanged the jewels. So the movable jewels are the Tracing board, the Rough and Perfect Ashlars whereas the immovable jewels are the Square, the Level, and the Plumb Rule.</p> <p>May I know what are/might be the reasons for such an interchange? </p> 2018-04-03T09:15:05-05:00 Selling My Great-Grandfather’s Masonic Pocket Watch <p>Hi!&nbsp; </p> <p>My name is Owen and I myself am not a Freemason but my Great-Grandfather was.&nbsp; He was a 32 degree and was part of a lodge in Lake County, Ohio, where he was once the sheriff.&nbsp; I don’t have a ton of information on his interactions with the lodge other than that.&nbsp; He attained a Dudley Masonic pocket watch, one from the 1st series.&nbsp; They are extremely rare.&nbsp; It was placed in a safety deposit box a few years before he died.&nbsp; It’s been in there (or another safety deposit box) for the last 60+ years.&nbsp; My father asked me to help him sell it.&nbsp; </p> <p>The reason I came to your forum was to make sure it had a chance to stay in the Freemason community.&nbsp; It is highly sought after both by Freemason’s and pocket watch collectors.&nbsp; I always like to follow the rules, and I didn’t see anything about not being able to post something like this, so if for some reason it is against the policy of this forum I will remove it.&nbsp; If no one here has interest in it, that’s okay too.&nbsp; There’s plenty of interest in the ebay auction now.&nbsp; I just wanted to make sure you knew it existed and give you a chance to purchase a rare watch.&nbsp; In addition to being a first edition, this watch also has it’s original documentation and box.&nbsp; This is quite uncommon.&nbsp; I have also been in touch with a pocketwatch group.&nbsp; They believe that the only reason it isn’t working at the moment is because the oil used back then wasn’t as good and it is probably gummed up.&nbsp; I’m going to do a few tests and add that on to the auction site soon.&nbsp; </p> <p>If you have questions or if you just want to talk respond to this and I’ll get back to you.&nbsp; </p> <p><a href="">Click here to check out the auction</a></p> <p>Blessings to you all!&nbsp; </p> <p>Owen </p> 2018-01-08T19:47:42-05:00 Responding to a toast and given addresses. <p>Brethren, i am an English Mason and a district officer. Mostly when I’m on a delegation to other lodges, it’s a requisite to speak to the WM or give an address to the wardens or even given a toast or responding to one. My challenge is that I finds it difficult with my MASONIC addresses. It has been an hindrance to my MASONIC career and it’s not making me visit other lodges because of the speeches. Though I’m a chartered accountant and working with Pwc or Price Waterhousecoopers as a senior Auditor but I realized that when it comes to MASONIC things it’s different . Is there any help on this or any recommendations or a book i will be recommended to read on MASONIC speeches so I will be abreast with the MASONIC terminology in expressing myself well. Thank you </p> 2017-12-20T16:47:03-05:00 Blue Lodge vs Red Lodge <p>I recently visited a Lodge in New Orleans LA. Very interesting and a bit different.</p> <p>I still am not sure about their Explanation. Apparently in the 16th District in LA the 10 Lodges are Red Lodges. They are still Masonic, still regular but it has something to do with Scottish Rite Masonry and York Rite Masonry.</p> <p>I was wondering if anyone could more clearly clarify this.</p> <p>Thanks</p> <p>William Lessard<br /> Ezekiel Bates Lodge<br /> Attleboro MA </p> 2017-08-02T07:05:37-05:00 Papers on Masonic Apron <p>Dear Brethren,</p> <p>I am attempting to write a short paper on Masonic Aprons and would love to read some papers to get some insights. These papers could be either written by members of this forum or anyone whom you know. I have already collected some and I am trying to think if I can go deep in the symbolism of Masonic Aprons. </p> <p>I am interested in understanding the significance of wearing an apron and the style of wearing it. </p> <p>Hope I am not stepping over the line by asking such a favour, kindly forgive me if I am.</p> <p>In case brethren cannot share the data or the link, they can at least guide me in thinking in the right direction.</p> <p>Yours fraternally,<br /> Bro. Rinesh Hegde </p> 2017-10-04T08:27:50-05:00 Why do we start a perambulation with our Left Foot? <p>Why do we start the perambulation with our left foot. I have been asking this question for quite sometime but never got or found any answer.</p> <p>In Hindu culture, when we enter a Temple we always step of with our right foot so I am not sure if there are any religious significance to this? </p> 2017-08-30T10:02:42-05:00 Candidate / Applicant.&nbsp; New to the English Language.. <p>Dear Sir’s. Need some clarification.. First off my Lodge is in California and also I am a officer in the Lodge..<br /> My Lodge is considering accepting the application of a young man whom has newly arrived in the U.S.&nbsp; And he has a very limited grasp of the English language. <br /> FYI. ( His App. has not been read yet.. )<br /> My W.M. has suggested that we can Initiate him , but I’am not so sure. How will he understand what is being said and done..&nbsp; I would like some opinion’s on understanding how this make’s sense.&nbsp; &nbsp; Thank you for your consideration.&nbsp; S &amp; F </p> 2017-06-12T19:24:14-05:00

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