Daily Jewish Courier -- May 04, 1913How Brotherhood Is Practiced by Lodge Members
The lodge brothers unconsciously observe all laws of the Constitution. It is worth while to see the same Jew in the synagogue where no constitution exists.
When a Jew goes to the synagogue, he is included in the quorum of worshippers; if only he has with him his payer shawl and phylacteries; he is honored with an Aliah (called up to the scroll of the Law) without having to go through different degrees; he can immediately voice his opinion in synagogue affairs; he can seat himself comfortably at the study class after the services without any interferences; if he is hungry food will be immediately served him; in short he becomes a brother without undergoing any ceremonies. If a Jew needs to be discharged from brotherhood in a synagogue it is a very complicated matter because it means excommunication.2
With the lodges the case is the very opposite. It is a complicated matter to get in, i. e., it requires initiation foolishness, but it is very easy to be expelled.
Upon becoming a member of a synagogue one is immediately entitled to all benefits offered by the synagogue. Not only with Aliahs, food, and study classes but also with dollars and cents. Should a member of a synagogue, who can no longer pay dues, suffer from ill business effects, there is a Gemilath Chesed (a free loan association) from whose treasury he can borrow money without paying any interest. He secures vouchers from among his synagogue brethren. If he is short of food for the holidays, it is sent to him without anyone's knowledge. This is the kind of brotherhood that prevails in a synagogue.3
We shall endeavor to convey the recent events of the Western Star Order, so that the masses can form a conception as to how brotherhood is practiced, by lodge members, and may the bluff of brotherhood in fraternal organizations, which confuses thousands of minds, be exposed once and for all times.
We will give the history of the court and grand lodge records, i. e., impartial facts.
In accordance with the court records the grand secretary of the Western Star Order discovered that, on May 2, 1912 , the grand treasurer was short in his accounts, because on that day a check, which was sent out by the grand treasurer was returned marked "Not sufficient funds."4
The secretary in treating the grand treasurer like a brother violated the Constitution by concealing this fact from the grand master, the consular, and the executive board. What sacrifices are not made for a lodge brother? Especially when cooperating with him. The grand secretary immediately summoned the brother grand treasurer and asked him: "Is it true, brother?!" There upon, they began checking up the books and it was revealed that the grand treasurer was short the sum of $2,500.00. This is a lot of money, so they began to recheck and found a shortage of only $2,300.00. Again they rechecked but in vain.
At this time the grand secretary showed true brotherhood. Instead of reporting it to the surety company, which would cause inconvenience to the brother grand treasurer, he sacrificed himself by depositing his own money in the bank in order to clear the books.5
On May 8, or 9, the brother grand secretary resumed the accounts and discovered that the brother grand treasurer was not short $2,500.00 but $5,457.00. At the same time the brother grand secretary found out that he had made another error, viz. instead of helping the brother grand treasurer with his own money, he assisted him with the Order's money.
However, this could easily be corrected by putting still another $2,500.00 in the Order's treasury, but the grand secretary thought that the 16,000 lodge brothers would feel hostile toward him if he did such a thing, so he decided to disclose it to the grand master.
Again he showed his brotherly love to the grand treasurer. Instead of telling the truth, he said that only $2,500.00 were missing.6
When the grand master became aware of the shortage he should have immediately, according to justice, sent for an accountant to investigate the books, but it would be unethical to do such a thing among brothers, so he relied upon the words of the grand secretary and treasurer.
In the month of June the grand master had a friendly chat with the grand treasurer and learned that the shortage was $5,457.86 on the books. Then again the grand secretary came to his rescue and with the aid of the consular they made the following agreement:
That the grand treasurer should surrender to the wife of the grand secretary his interest in a house, which is worth $2,500.00 and his share in a printing plant, which is worth $2,958.00 should be surrendered to the grand secretary, which gives a total of $5,458.00. In return the grand secretary would clear the Order's deficit of $5,457.86.7
And now another slight error was detected. Instead of giving his own money the grand secretary again gave the Order's money, regardless of the grand master's personal loan to the grand secretary to enable him to clear the deficit. The result is that the sum of $5,457.86 is missing.
If true brotherhood prevails in the Western Star Order the above would have been introduced and discussed at the convention, but it was evaded.
After the convention, they (the leaders), started a series of trials, arrests, betrayals, trials in stations, superior courts, and at the executive committee. They expelled and suspended members. They took out injunctions and hired lawyers. Blood was shed in the lodges and all was brotherly love.
II D 2, I B 4
Secondary listingsJewish // Attitudes > Mores > Religious Customs and Practices (I B 4) ?
Your search criteria returned no results.