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Freemasonry: What Happened in the Jewish Temple

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posted on Apr, 11 2006 @ 11:26 AM
NOTE: Opinions are like butt-holes. Everybody has one and they all stink. Even mine. If I am wrong in anything I say, please try not to get too aggressive; I know very little and just wanted to share some stuff I learned.

Well, I've been doing some reading, and I now feel that the Freemasons really do have a partial claim to knowing the mysteries and ceremonies that went on in the Jewish Temple, at least the Second Temple which was destroyed in 70 AD.

First there was the Tabernacle of Moses, a sort of travelling temple. There were sacrificial ceremonies at it, which were public, and there were other ceremonies within it, that were not public nor recorded (which will be refered to as "Secret Ceremonies").

The Temple of Solomon was built in 10th Century BC. It continued with the same traditions and ceremonies in the Tabernacle of Moses. It was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia in 586 BC.

The Second Temple was built in 536 BC, just a short time later, with the final completions being done in 515 BC. Sacifices most likely were resumed before it was completely finished, as well as the secret ceremonies. People that were alive for the First Temple probably helped restore the original ceremonies that were performed inside the Temple of Solomon. This temple was destroyed in 70 AD by Titus of the Romans.

At this time, with the Jews totally subjugated, the Pharisees pushed their interpretation of the Jewish scriptures that the temple should not be rebuilt by man, but by the Messiah. From this came Rabbinic Judaeism, in which all Jewish laws and customs that did not involve the Temple were to be observed. The ceremonies at the Temple would have to wait for the Messiah.

At this time, the Hekhalot/Merkavah form of Jewish Mysticism sprung up. Different authors seem to agree that this was a replacement for the actual Secret Ceremonies inside the Temple. "Hekhal" means palace or temple. "Merkavah" means chariot or throne, referring to the Throne of God. Hekhalot/Merkavah mysticism was a spiritual version of the physical journey and ceremony inside the physical Temple.

It involved ritual purification of the self and moral diligence for one to be initiated, just like in the Temple. One embarks on a journey through the different Levels of Heaven, which are described as palaces and temples, or "hekhal." You are accompanied by angels on your way, but only so far. You must know information which will help you pass by the guardians on the way to the Throne of God, or "merkavah" located in the seventh and highest level, the "hekhalot." This information consists of signs, seals, passwords, and even knowledge of the names of the angels guarding the path.

There are differing views as to the point of the journey to God, but common elements include receiving the mysteries of heaven, learning about the creation of the world/universe, meeting God, receiving a blessing from God, receiving a message to deliver from God, becoming purified, and even becoming a God and receiving His powers.

Anyway, there is spectulation that Hekhalot/Merkavah mysticism was taken from those who knew the secret ceremonies in the temple and were reformatted to be performed without a physical temple. Hekhalot/Merkavah mysticism was absorbed into and superseded by Kabbalism, passing along much of the secret ceremonies of the Jewish Temple.

From here things get sketchy. Kabbalism has fragmented into many different paths: Hermetic Kabbalism, Christian Kabbalism, Hollywood Kabbalism, and others. Hollywood Kabbalism is a trend that will die out within five years (like all of their other endeavours), but Hermetic Kabbalism and Christian Kabbalism are still around.

As the Wikipedia puts it "Within the Hermetic tradition, much of Kabbalah has been changed from its Jewish roots through syncretism, but core Kabbalistic beliefs are still recognizably present." Hermetic Kabbalism is Jewish Kabbalism with the Gods of other nations mixed into it, such as Greek and Egyptian Gods. It also claims that Freemasonry absorbed some these Hermetic Kabbalistic teachings. Other authors think that Freemasonry came from Christian Kabbalists and their teachings. Albert Pike even admits that Masonic teachings ultimately come from the Kabbalah.

So I guess that the point of this ramble is this:

Freemasonry derives from Kabbalism, which derived from Hekhalot/Merkavah mysticism, which is a derivation from the secret ceremonies at the Second Temple which was rebuilt 50 years after the Temple of Solomon was destroyed. You might even go on to say that the Temple of Solmon and its rituals were designed after the Tabernacle of Moses and its rituals which were given to Moses by instruction of God.

My opinion on the origin of Freemasonry is that it is a derivative of a derivative of a derivative of a derivative of the secret ceremonies of the Temple of Solomon, which is a permanent structure to replace the Tabernacle of Moses, who spoke with God. The Freemason rituals may possess any degree of authenticity and accuracy of the original ceremonies in the Temple of Solomon, from 0% to 100%. However, most likely to hide what they were doing from oppressors, the rituals have been masked with new allegories, and the deeper lessons taught are merely hinted at, rather than being explicitly stated.

One thing I found interesting is the use of signs, seals and passwords in Jewish Mysticism to pass by angels, which is probably where Freemasonry came up with the idea of signs and handshakes, and which ultimately may have been included in the secret ceremonies of the Temple of Solomon.

But then again, this is just my stinky opinion.

posted on Apr, 11 2006 @ 11:47 AM
I think that the connection is weak. The masonic rituals, including basic ones like the 3rd degree, were only invented in realtively modern times, its difficult to show that jewish mystics kept this information secret, kept the 'underground stream' flowing, and yet it managed to get into the hands of a Day Labourers Union in Britain in the Dark Ages. As far as masons saying that their 'science' is based on the kabbala, well, indeed, it may be, but then again, so are the practices of ashton kutcher and madona, however silly we find those individuals. Just because they learned about the system doesn't mean that they learned from a secret underground group that was continuous with these post-temple jewish mystics.

Also, it seems like the import of this hekalah/merkava sect is to use the preistly rituals as allegory and method for enlightment, whereas masonry simply uses the building of the temple as its allegory, and that's 'only' because it was founded by guys that built buildings.

Really interesting idea though and some intruiging information.

posted on Apr, 11 2006 @ 12:25 PM
The following is only speculation because there is no known evidence either way. Nevertheless, here's my personal take on it:

It seems to me that the Kabalah's primary influence was Gentile philosophy instead of traditional (pre-Kabalistic) Jewish mysticism. Kabalah is almost certainly derived from the ideas of the Hellenistic Jewish scholars, who in turn were influenced by Plotinus and the Neo-Platonists. For this reason, I view the Kabalah itself as a form of Neo-Platonism.

As for Masonry's first contact with the Kabalah, I would wager that this came through the influence of the Manifesto and Confessio of the Rosicrucians, if not the Rosicrucians themselves. Regardless if the Rosicrucians actually existed in the early 16th century, at least those documents did, and they are the earliest source I'm personally aware of that depicts a semi-secret Gentile fraternity that is expressly versed in Kabalistic knowledge.

Whether it was these original Rosicrucians who joined the Masons' guilds and transformed it, or whether it was done by those simply influenced by the Rosicrucian publications, is impossible to tell. But it was only a few decades later that modern Freemasonry was being promulgated, and the similarities between the Masons and Rosicrucians are too many to ignore.

As early as 1638, we find the following in print, from The Muses' Threnodie by Henry Adamson:

For what we do presage is riot in grosse, for we are brethren of the Rosie Crosse; We have the Mason Word and second sight, Things for to come we can foretell aright.

[edit on 11-4-2006 by Masonic Light]

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