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From the Scottish Rite Officers - September 2023

From the Venerable Master (September 2023)

In this brief discourse allotted to us, we will endeavor to trace and analyze the application of uncommon words and phrases used in Masonry. The meaning, spelling, pronunciation and application of some of these words have varied considerably in the past and even up to the present. Some of the pronunciations and spellings are now obsolete except for their usage in Masonic phraseology. My research and interpretations are not to be taken as the final word in defining these words and phrases; no doubt many of you can add further light by your own knowledge and interpretations. However, it is my hope to stimulate your curiosity and encourage your further study and research, which after all is what Masonry is all about. There still seems to be confusion in the minds of some members of the Craft, concerning the meaning of the terms, "Right Worshipful", "Most Worshipful", and "Worshipful" as applied to a brother holding certain offices. They seem to think it has a literal meaning associated with the duties of worship, a kind of religious implication. Such, however, is not the case and in fact, judging by the minutes, it was not until 1730, that the terms "Right Worshipful" or "Worshipful" appear. Till then it was "Brother" and the first Grand Master was described as Brother Sayer. What is a Lewis? - A son of a Freemason. What does that denote? "Strength".

Some authorities have claimed that to be entitled to the term, the son must be born after his father has been made a Mason; others take a wider view and grant the designation to a son whose father becomes a Mason after the child's birth. The Word Tubal Cain, means "worldly possessions or possessor of the world", or "one who is jealous of confusion". Tubal Cain was the son of Lamech and Zillah, brother of Jabel and Jubel, and the first worker in metals. He is mentioned in the bible, in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 4, Verse 22. (An instructor of every artificer in brass and iron.) Hiram Abiff: a widow's son - name meant Master Workman, Architect and Chief Builder. (He was a Smith and not a stone Mason.) Hiram, the widow's son, was the son of a Tyrian, his mother being an Israelite of the tribe of Dan, and the widow of a man of the tribe of Napthali. He was sent by Hiram King of Tyre, to Jerusalem to be Chief Architect to Solomon. Abiff, is generally interpreted as a title of respect or veneration, from the Hebrew "Abi", meaning "my father". Sprig of Acacia: Mackey says that it is symbolic of the immortality of the soul; it is a symbol of innocence also a symbol of death and re-birth. In the scriptures, the Acacia is known as "Shitta", or in the plural "Shittim". Wood of Acacia is considered sacred wood, used in making the Tabernacle of Moses, the Ark of the Covenant, and the sacred furniture of the Holy Place. The wood is heavier than water and is not attacked by the white ant or any other insect.

Beehive: Why is a beehive frequently used in connection with Masonic designs and illustrations? The beehive is an emblem of industry, and emphasizes the desirability of that virtue.

Blazing Star: What is the Blazing Star? The Blazing Star is described as one of the "Ornaments" of the Lodge, and is moralized on thus: "The Blazing Star or Glory in the Centre refers us to the sun, which enlightens the earth and by its benign influence dispenses its blessings to mankind". Why the Rough Sands of the Sea Shore? Entered Apprentices are often puzzled by the reference, "to the rough sands of the sea where the tide regularly ebbs and flows twice in every twenty--four hours." This is a survival of an old superstition. The sea shore, covered by high tide and exposed at low tide, is neither land nor water and anyone buried there would never find rest, but would roam throughout eternity.

San Jose Lodge of Perfection Naresh Rampershad, 32° 2022-2023 Venerable Master

From the Wise Master (September 2023)

In August the Chapter Rose Croix had the privilege of opening and closing for our Valley’s Stated Meeting. While preparing for the evening I had a few moments to reflect on where I am in the Craft overall and what I get out of it. I do not belong to as many bodies as many other Brothers and my list of accolades blushes in comparison to many others. At the same time, the bodies I belong to I cherish dearly and try to commit as much time as possible to those in order to get the most out of them.

COVID hurt a lot of lodges and Masonic bodies overall with people relocating and large shifts in how we balance work and life commitments. As our blue lodges are rebuilding and we have a lot of newer people in the officer lines with others who may want to be a part of something but the officer line just isn’t their thing. Good News, we have the Reunion coming up in our Valley very soon! The last couple of cycles have been very difficult to get new members out to petition but with the rebuilding happening in all of our lodges, perhaps we can get a few more folks out. Ill. Nagel mentioned the San Jose Scottish Rite Valley covers 24 blue lodges. While I am not familiar with everyone’s lodge, I think I have only counted representation from about 11 at any given Stated Meeting (counting a person from only one lodge if they have plural memberships) and most of them are within the Santa Clara Valley where we seem to be more saturated. Perhaps we can get some additional candidates in from our lodges further out. How many Brothers from your own lodge do you have in the Scottish Rite and how can we get more inter- ested in participating in our activities?

San Jose Chapter of Rose Croix Timothy M. Lynch II, 32° 2022-2023 Wise Master

From the Commander of Kadosh (September 2023)

As many people know, Memorial Day is an American holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May, and honors the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving in the U.S. military. But how did this holiday originate?

Did you know that the Civil War claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history? This required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries.

It was originally called Decoration Day, and from the early tradition of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths and flags, Memorial Day is now a day for remembrance of those who have died in service to our country. Despite this, the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day in 1966.

On May 5, 1868, General John Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance.

He stated: “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.”

During that first national commemoration, former Union Gen. and sitting Ohio Congressman James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who were buried there.

This national event, galvanized efforts to honor and to remember fallen soldiers. It began with local observances at burial grounds in several towns throughout the United States following the end of the Civil War, such as the May 1, 1865 gathering in Charleston, South Carolina organized by freed slaves to pay tribute and give proper burial to Union troops.

In 1873, the first state to designate Memorial Day as a legal holiday was New York. By the late 1800s, many more cities and communities observed Memorial Day, and several states had declared it a legal holiday. After World War I, it became an occasion for honoring those who died in all of America’s wars and was then more widely established as a national holiday throughout the United States. The federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day in 1966. For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30th, the date General Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. The change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.

Today Memorial Day is commemorated at Arlington National Cemetery each year with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Traditionally, the President or Vice President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

San Jose Council of Kadosh David M. Kampschafer, 32° 2022-2023 Commander of Kadosh

From the Master of Kadosh (September 2023)

You may be reading this issue of the Rite Word right around Labor Day however I’m looking ahead to October. First, a reminder to save Saturday, October 7. This will be the Consistory hosted fall Scottish Rite Burger and Dog BBQ at the Scottish Rite Center. All are invited: members, family and especially Lodge Brothers you would like to introduce the Scottish Rite to.

On a more serious note, our October Stated Meeting and Dinner will be the annual Feast of Tishri. This is an obligatory Scottish Rite observance whose roots go back centuries to the Book of Leviticus. Originally a harvest festival it celebrates the freedom the Israelites won, despite the shackles of Egypt and the armies of the Philistines. This victory is celebrated in the dedication of King Solomon’s Temple.

In the story, the Lord said to Moses when the fruit of the land has been gathered, there shall be a feast of seven days. They shall dwell seven days in booths that future generations may know the Lord made Israel dwell in booths when they were brought out of Egypt. This is the Hebrew celebration Sukkot which was the origin of Tishri.

Tishri is the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar which corresponds to the Georgian month of October. During Tishri there are seven holidays on which work is not permitted and the month includes three major festivals: Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. It should be noted that the number seven is the most recognized number in the Bible, used over 600 times and used the most in the Book of Revelation.

Several years ago, our Ill. Daniel Doornbos, 33rd Degree, gave a presentation about how Sukkot was and is observed. One writer said his synagogue had a sukkah, or booth, open to the elements. It was looked upon as a blessing to say prayers and have a meal in the sukkah during the Sukkoth festival.

During our October Stated Meeting dinner, we will observe the Feast with some toasts. Don’t forget to contact the office to make your dinner reservations.

San Jose Consistory Richard M. Fisher, III, 33° 2022-2023 Venerable Master of Kadosh

From the Chief Knight (September 2023)

September is the big event for Knights of Saint Andrew while we visit the Highland Games at fair- grounds in Pleasanton, CA. With visitors from at least the Santa Rosa, Burlingame, Oakland, and Stockton chapters of KSA coming in town to participate, it is guaranteed to be a great time.

As we look ahead, KSA is preparing for several events. We typically present the flag and provide an Arch of Steel for the upcoming Grand Master’s reception by the Santa Clara Valley Masonic Officer’s Association as well as Hiram Awards and other celebrations. We also provide these honors at lodge installations. If your lodge would like to have KSA present the flag for your installation or other event, please reach out and let us know. With several events booked already, we want to make sure we have your event scheduled.

Other KSA services: You may have seen KSA serving drinks during dinner or collecting money ahead of the meetings. We support all bodies in the Valley with these types of services and others that just don’t fit anywhere else. We have a pretty good time when we hang out and these service opportunities provide us with more time to socialized while accomplishing good work. If you are interested in any of these activities or working with the Audio/Visual equipment, please reach out to the KSA for more information.

San Jose Knights of St. Andrew Timothy M. Lynch II, 32° 2022-2023 Chief Knight, KSA


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