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The Hebrew letter is 7, pronounced Resh- The eighteenth letter in the English and other Western alphabets- The word Resh signifies orehead and in the Phenician and hieroglyphic character is presented as in the illustration. Compare this vith the Hebrew letter. Its numerical value is 900, and the equivalent as a name of God is Rahum, signifying clemency.
The word off , is Rabbinical Hebrew, and signifies the Chief of the Architects. A significant word in the advanced Degrees.
The system of philosophy taught by the Jewish Rabbis subsequent to the dispersion, which is engaged in mystical explanations of the oral law. NVith the reveries of the Jewish teachers was mingled the Egyptian, the Arabic, and the Grecian doctrines. From the Egyptians, especially, Rabbinism derived its allegorical and symbolic mode of instruction. Out of it sprang the Therapeutists and the Essenian9; and it gave rise to the composition of the Talmud, many of whose legends have been incorporated into the mythical philosophy of Speculative Freemasonry. This it is that makes Rabbinism an interesting subject of research to the Masonic student.
Literally, My Master, equivalent to the pure Hebrew, Adoni. As a significant word in the advanced Degrees, it has been translated a most ezeeUent Master, and its usage by the later Jews will justify that interpretation. Buxtorf (Talt mudic Lexicon) tells us that about the time of Christ this title arose in the School of Hillel, and was given to only seven of their wise men who were preeminent for their learning.
Jahn (Biblical Archeology, page 106) says that Gamaliel, the preceptor of Saint Paul, was one of these. They styled themselves the children of wisdom, which is an expression very nearly corresponding to the Greek. The word occurs once, as applied to Christ, in the New Testament (John xx, 16), "Jesus said unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni, which is to say, Master." The Masonie myth in the Most Excellent Master's Degree, that it was the title addressed by the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon on beholding the magnificence and splendor of the Temple, lacks the element of plausibility, inasmuch as the word was not in use in the time of Solomon.
RAGON, J. M.
One of the most distinguished Masonic writers of France. His contemporaries did not hesitate to call him "the most learned Freemason of the nineteenth century." He was born in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, most probably at Bruges, in Belgium, where in 1803 he was initiated in the Lodge Réunion des Amis du Nord, and subsequently assisted in the foundation of the Lodge and Chapter of Vrais Amis in the same city. On his removal to Paris he continued his devotion to Freemasonry and was the founder in 1805 of the celebrated Lodge of Les Trinosophes. In that Lodge he delivered, in 1818, a course of lectures on ancient and modern initiations, which twenty years afterward were repeated at the request of the Lodge, and published in 1841, under the title of Cours Philosophique et Interpratif ales Initiations Anciennes et Modernes.
This work was printed with the express permission of the Grand Orient of France, but three years after that body denounced its second edition for containing some additional matter Rebold charges this act to the petty passions of the day, and twenty-five years after the Grand Orient made ample reparation in the honor that it paid to the memory of Ragon. In 1818 and 1819, he was editor-in-chief of the periodical published during those years under the title of Hermes, on Archives Maçonniques. In 1853, he published Orthodoxie Maçonnique, a work abounding in historical information, although some of his statements are inaccurate. In 1861, he published the Tuileur Général de la Franc-Maçonnerie, ou Manuel de l'Initié: a book not merely confined to the details of Degrees, but which is enriched with many valuable and interesting notes. Ragon died at Paris about the year 1866.
In the preface to his Orthodoxie, he had announced his intention to crown his Masonic labors by writing a work to be entitled Les Fastes Initiatiques, in which he proposed to give an exhaustive view of the Ancient Mysteries, of the Roman Colleges of Architects and their successors, the building corporations of the Middle Ages, and of the institution of Modern or Philosophic Freemasonry at the beginning of the eighteenth century. This svas to constitute the first volume.
The three following volumes were to embrace a history of the Order and of all its Rites in every country. The fifth Volume was to be appropriated to the investigation of other secret associations, more or less connected nith Freemasonry; and the sixth and last volume was to contain 3 General Tiler or Manual of all the known rites and Degrees. Such a work would have been an inestimable boon to the Masonic student, but Ragon unfortunately began it too late in life. He did not live to complete it, and in 1868 the unfinished manuscript was purchased, by the Grand Orient of Franee, from his heirs for a thousand francs.
It was destined to be quietly deposited in the archives of that Body, because, as it was confessed, no Freemason could be found in France vho had ability enough to supply its lacunae or missing material and prepare it for the press. Ragon's theory of the origin of Freemasonry was that its primitive idea is to be found in the initiations of the Ancient Mysteries, but that for its present form it is indebted to Elias Ashrnole, who fabricated it in the seventeenth century.
RAGOTZKY, CARL AUGUST.
A German who was distinguished for his labors in Freemasonry, and for the production of several works of high character, the principal of which were Der Freidenker in der Maurerei oder Freimüthige Briefe über wichtige Gegenstände in der Frei-Maurerei, that is, The Free-thinker in Freemasonry, or Candid Letters on important subjects in Freemasonrty, published at Berlin, in 1793, in an octavo volume of three hundred and eleven pages, of which a second edition appeared in 1811; and a smaller work entitled Ueber Maurerische Fresher fur eingeweihte und uneingeweihte, that is, An Essay on Masonic Liberty, for Initiated and Uninitiated Readers, published in 1792. He died on January, 1823.
RAINBOW FOR GIRLS, ORDER OF.
A organization planned to sow the seeds of love, law, religion, patriotism, and service in the hearts of the girlhood of America for harvest in the coming years. These sentiments prompted a Brother, the Rev. William Mark Sexson, McAlester, Oklahoma, then the Grand Chaplain of his State, to write the ritual and lay the foundations of the Order of the Rainbow for Girls.
The first exemplification of the ritual wee on April 6, 1922, when a class of more than seventyfive girls was initiated. In the four following years the Order was extended to thirty-one States of the Union and grew to a membership of forty thousand The Order of the Rainbow is not Freemasonry nor is it Eastern Star, but it is very dear to each one off these fraternities.
Local Lodges or Bodies are called Assemblies, and before an Assembly can be instituted it must be sponsored by a Masonic or an Eastern Star organization that will promise to look after its welfare. Its members, girls from 13 to 18, must be children of Masonic or Eastern Star families, or the friends and chums of such children. This is the only relationship it has to Freemasonry though it has nc secrets from Freemasons or Stars and they are free to attend the meetings of any Assembly.
RAINBOW, THE MOST ANCIENT ORDER OF THE.
A secret association existing in Moorfields in 1760.
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