Kappa Nu
Initiation Ritual

No date

Pledges are blindfolded outside of door, led by shepherd.
K.N. knocks.
Ch.N.: Someone knocks
Sofar: Who knocks on the portals of Kappa Nu?
Shepherd: Neophytes seeking admittance into our brotherhood.
Sofar: Are they of Jewish parentage?
Shep.: They are.
Sofar: Are they of Jewish consciousness?
Shep.: They are.
Sofar: Do you … Neophytes of your own volition wish to become members of Kappa Nu?
They: We do.
Sofar: Ch.N. …  Neophytes seek entrance into our brotherhood.
Ch.N.: Are they properly qualified?
Sofar: They are.
Ch.N.: Bid them enter.
Sofar: Enter.
N., rises: Men you are now about to take one of the most important steps in your lives. Hitherto you have been but strangers with little knowledge of the nature of our brotherhood. You have signified a desire to enter our brotherhood by a period of trial known as pledging. Therefore it is our purpose to instruct you in matters pertaining to this period. Let me caution you, as you stand at the threshold, that the step you are about to take is a serious matter, and should be taken in a serious frame of mind! Before proceeding, you will kneel to the left knee and attend to prayer. Chaver chazzan, you will lead us in prayer.
Ch. Chazan: Shma Yisroel adenoid elchenu adonoi echod – Hear, of Israel , the Lord our God, The Lord is One. Heavenly Father, we ask thy blessing upon what we are to do and upon these … Neophytes and the step towards brotherhood that they are about to take. Cast from their hearts all thoughts of selfishness and selfish motives in this undertaking. Imbue their minds and their souls with a serious outlook upon what is about to take place. May the lessons learned here this afternoon be engraved upon their hearts forever. May they always carry out the teachings of our brotherhood, and walk uprightly in thy sight. Amen!
Neophytes rise and Nose says after discreet pause: The rope which you observe on your wrist, and which binds you together, symbolizes the bond of youth which is our fraternity. This bond of youth is called in Hebrew ‘Kesher Nayorum’ represented by the Greek letters Kappa Nu. This bond is held together by six knots concerning which you will now be instructed.
Neophytes reblindfolded, marched once around the room, preferably to music, and halted in a semi-circle before preceptor #1 and unblindfolded. A lamp placed on the floor at the preceptor’s feet is shining in their faces, but is sufficiently soft so they may observe what transpires.
Preceptor #1 rises, takes slack rope from Shepherd, ties a knot in it slowly, and as he ties it, says: This knot in the bond of youth represents Avedah Yachdov, cooperation. Only by cooperation did our forefathers destroy their enemies in the wilderness. Only by cooperation were they able to cross Jordan and capture Jericho , and through cooperation they triumphed over the Canaanites and reached the Promised Land. So, too, if we desire to achieve the Promised Land, we must cooperate. For cooperation, selfishness, and personal ambition must be cast aside and ‘the most good for the greatest number’ should be your guiding principle. An ancient sage once said ‘There is strength in numbers’. Bear in mind that this strength exists only when all cooperate. Without cooperation our fraternity has accomplished much and can accomplish more.
Neophytes reblindfolded and march around room to second preceptor where same formalities are gone through.
Preceptor #2, tieing knot in cord: This knot in the bond of youth represents Achduus, unity. You have already been informed of the virtues of, and necessity for, cooperation. Cooperation brings about unity; unity of purpose, unity of action, unity of ideals. Henceforth you are not to consider yourselves as independent individuals, but rather as integral parts of one brotherhood – one for all, and all for one.
Unity is that cooperation of every individual in the fraternity which calls upon us to coordinate our efforts in order to bring about brotherly love in our fraternity home, honor to our alma mater, dignity to our people and service to our country. Thousands of years ago, our own sweet singer, King David, said ‘Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in Unity.”
Neophytes led around in same way to Preceptor #3 etc.
Preceport #3, tying knot: This knot in the bond of youth represents Mesiras Nffestt, sacrifice. Hand in hand with cooperation and unity goes sacrifice. Sacrifice is the voluntary contribution of our spiriyual and material values for the sake of those with whom we work and for whom we work. Through sacrifice our forefathers were wont to worship God. Through sacirifice also we can prove our devotion to an ideal. Abraham in the land of Moriah was willing to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, whom he cherished above all else, when the Lord commanded it. So too, should you be willing to give your prized possessions, your very all for your brothers in the bond.
Neophyte led in the same way to Preceptor #4.
Preceptor #4, tying knot: This knot in the bond of youth, represents Acavah, Brotherhood. Our glorious republic is founded on the magnificent concept of brotherhood of man. Our allegiance to our nation in tomes of distress is an allegiance to our fellow men. Fraternity means, in Latin, brotherhood, and this afternoon you have become brothered in bond. Brotherhood is the strongest tie that can bind one man to another. For one brother will labor, sacrifice, and forgive his transgressions even as Joseph forgave his brethren who sold him into slavery among the Egyptians.
Neophytes to Preceptor #5
Preceptor #5, tying knot: This knot in the bond of youth represents Nargasha Yehddia, Jewish consciousness. Jewish consciousness of the glorious heritage of our race which has, through hundreds of centuries, from the time of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, until the present day, preserved our unity and our faith. Despite inconceivable hardships among strangers, and in foreign lands, this spirit has lived within the hearts of our people. Only through Jewish consciousness can we understand and carry out the aims of our bond.
Neophyte similarly led before 6th Preceptor.
Preceptor #6, tying knot: This knot in the bond of youth represents Ahaves Habreis, altruism. Cooperation, Unity, Sacrifice, Brotherhood and Jewish consciousness culminate in altruism. You should at all times strive to be of service to others for every act of altruism carries its own reward. May you always bear in mind that while others may speak and dream of the ideals we have enumerated, we of Kappa Nu strive to live and practice them in our daily lives.
Neophytes blindfolded and marched around the room to the Nosi, are halted and unblindfolded, and seated in a row facing the Nosi, with the altar in between them.
Nosi: Neophytes, you have now received instruction in the six ideals of our fraternity. I trust that you will always bear them in your daily lives, before your initiation is complete, however, it is necessary that you be instructed as to our secrets and organization. The Segan Nosi will now instruct you in our secrets.
Nosi is seated and S.N. arrives. Slide if seal is flashed on screen located behind the Nosi – this may be supplanted by a large diagram of the seal on a rack at the S.N.’s right.
S.N.: It is both my pleasure and duty to now invest in you the secrets of the fraternity as a token of our confidence and esteem, and as the final step in making you full fledged brothers in the bond. Henceforward you will be known as Chavir, which is the Hebrew for brother. The sign is given by extending the left hand as if groping and then raising the left hand to the eyes. This alludes to your groping in the darkness as you first appeared before the Chaverim of Kappa Nu; after which in due season you received light both physically by having your blindfold removed and figuratively by having revealed to you the mysteries of Kappa Nu. This is called the hailing sign. The recognition sign is made by raising the right hand to the eyes and signifies that the hail has been seen and recognizes. S.N. summons a Neophyte and demonstrates the grip saying: I will now present you with the grip of this fraternity. In giving the grip, each man grasps the right hand of his Chavin with his own right hand and presses the last joint of the thumb with the ball of his own thumb. This is the recognition grip. If this is answered by the Chavir, place the first two fingers of the hand on pulse, signifying long life.
S.N. then gives the password to each Neophyte in a low tone, whispering in left ear:
The pass is ‘Hevsach’, meaning ‘sacrifice to brotherhood’.
S.N., aloud: The pass should be given only as you receive it, in a low breath and must be given when seeking in admission to a chapter of Kappa Nu.
The fraternity shield is topped by the rising sun symbolic of the morn of life, and the fact that you are as yet just at the beginning of life and opportunity. The date 1911 indicates the year in which the fraternity was founded at the University of Rochester . The clasping in the upper left of the shield are emblematic of the brotherhood which is the prime object of the fraternity. In the lower part of the shield are six dots commemorating the six men who founded the fraternity. The hand with the index finger is symbolic of the hand shake or grip which already has been explained to you. The Hebrew letters are the letters representing the six ideals which have been explained. Taken altogether the shield tells us to emulate the six men who at Rochester University in 1911 founded this fraternity. In youth they created a bond of Fellowship and Brotherhood which should ever exist among us. We are taught from this shield that ours is an altruistic brotherhood, one which is not created for worldly advantage but for spiritual advancement; and to protect and preserve its unity we should be ready to sacrifice ourselves.
The knock or rap to be used in gaining admission to any fraternal ceremonials is given thus ─ *,    **,    ***.
S.N. is seated, N. arises and says: The Otsar will now instruct you in the organization of the fraternity.
N. is seated, O. arises and says: I will now explain the organisation of our fraternity. The fraternity is governed by a Nosi, called Chavis Nosi. Each and every member in the fraternity is called Chavir, meaning brother. The Nosi is the highest or presiding Chavir. The Sofar is the keeper of the records, the name being the Hebrew word for scribe.  The Otsar is the treasurer. The Vice-President is called Segan-Nosi.
The supreme legislative body of Kappa Nu is known as the H.H., which means Hagadol Habuelumi. The H.H, consists of the members of the Y.H. and two delegates chosen from each chapter. The supreme executive and judicial body of Kappa Nu is known as the Y.H. or Yud Habuelum. The officers of the Y.H. and of the National Fraternity are the N.H., S.H.H., S.H. and O.H., which correspond to the four officers of the local chapter with the word hagadol, or supreme added thereto.
O. is seated, N. arises.
N.: Neophytes arise, cause the neophytes to be reblindfolded. Done. Neophytes, you will kneel to the left knee, place both hands upon the altar and repeat after me: I, speak your name, do solemnly swear, upon my honor as a man and as a Jew, to cherish, preserve and protect the ideals of Kappa Nu, and from this day until the day of my death, do I promise to hold sacred the friendships emanating from this ‘Kesher Noyorim’, the bond of youth, so help me God.
N. then says: Chavir Chazan, you will lead us in prayer.
Chavis Chazan: Ch. , Kappa Nu, with faith in thy grace we enter thy bond; with awe we bow down before thee in thy sanctuary. We cherish the sacred abode of thy glory. Here we humble ourselves before thee. Here we breathe a holier atmosphere, and feel the blessed influence of thy fraternal spirit. Here we loosen the fetters that hold us fast to the material world and lift ourselves into the wings of lofty aspirations, ever ready to serve our dear Kappa Nu and to lend e helping hand to our Fraters-in-the-bond. Here we seek the awe-inspiring rays of thy six idealistic lights leading us from the darkness and solitude of indifference and casual acquaintances to the dawn of true fraternity. Here we unlock our souls and open our hearts to thee.
Unto thee, Oh, Spirit of Fraternity, we offer thanks for the mighty things thou hast done for us. Praised be thou for the splendid things that we will continue to enjoy and for the clean lives thou hast taught us to lead. Imbur us with thy noble aspirations and brotherly ideals. May inclinations have no control over us. May our good senses be good unto us, and not our evil masters. May we find this day, and every day, grave and good-will in these of our fellowmen and tolerance and brotherhood in the association with our Fraternity Brothers.
As Neophytes, we have been prepared in the school of trial and tribulation that we may be better able to serve this our fraternity, and to share in its beautiful mission. Had we not suffered, we never would ne able to achieve. Thou moldest  in the furnace of affliction and hardenest on the anvil of adversity , to keep us vigilant at our post and mindful of our duty.
Solemnly, we consecrate ourselves today before the sacred altar of kappa Nu, to work our predecessors began. Ours, too, shall be the constant aim and effort to bring nearer that blessed age when all mankind’s goal shall be our creed:
One God over all,
One Brotherhood over all
Peace and Goodwill among all.
In joy and in sorrow, in victory, and in defeat, wherever we be and whatever our lot, we will always aim to further thy cause and to uphold Thy fraternal spirit. Put on pins.
Thou be graciously pleased to take us under thy guiding dare, Oh, Kappa Nu. Implant within our hearts a grateful sense of Thy goodness and an abiding faith in the wisdom of thy decrees. Dispose us to dedicate our souls and minds and hearts to thee in a fraternal and useful life. Keep us temperate in our desires, faithful with our labours and content with our rewards. Incline us to be just in all our dealings and ready to do good to all. Make our thoughts, our words, our deeds, testimonies that that fraternal spirit has taken hold of us and that the peace and well-being of our Fraternity Brothers lie nearest to our hearts. Make the words of our lips and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in thy eight. Oh, thou to whom every soul is bard, and every heart is open. Amen!
N. then says: Neophytes, you will rise. Neophytes rise and are unblindfolded. This concluded your initiation into Kappa Nu Fraternity. We will close by singing the Kappa Nu song.
Everyone sings song.