Order Knights of Zion
Instructions to Officers
Officers will bear in mind that the discipline of Gates depends very much upon the manner in which they perform their duties. If officers are prompt in opening the Gate and the Master Zionist is just and strict in executing the rules and laws, every member will take pleasure in doing his part.
The Maser Zionist should always avoid participating in debate, and when called upon to give his opinion it should be given in as brief a manner as possible. If the Master Zionist desires to participate in debate, he should call the Vice Master Zionist to the Chair.
The utility of the form of initiation depends entirely on the ability with which the officers render their part of the workings. Officers should commit to memory their respective parts; they should be capable of rendering their portion of the initiation in an effective manner.
The Master Zionist and Vice Master Zionist should for this purpose be good readers, so as to deliver their parts in an impressive, animated, but not hurried, manner, making it evident that they understand what the initiation is typical of, and that, while instructing others, they feel impressed with the importance of the
lesson they are imparting.
The initiation should be made, as it is intended to be, a source of continual instruction and attraction to the members. It should not be passed over as a meaningless and unnecessary formula; hence the different parts of the initiation, which are typical of our duties as members of the Order Knights of Z. should always be executed so as to impress old as well as new members; if made interesting, as well as instructive, it will be a constant source of thought, reminding the members of their obligations, and instilling into their minds the high motives of the Order.
When new candidates are first initiated, they usually tail to comprehend all that is intended, owing to temporary confusion natural to the situation; but when the initiation is rendered in an impressive manner, they will then become more and more convinced of the necessity of doing their whole duty.
The Master Zionist should urge upon competent members the importance of learning the duties and parts of Master Zionist and Vice Master Zionist, so that no impediment to the efficient operation of the initiation may be occasioned by vacancies. Officers should make themselves familiar with the different sections of the Constitution, By-Laws, and all workings relative to any and all their duties, and at courts of instruction they should he questioned in regard to the duties that the laws and rules of the Order impose on members, so that there can be no justification for pleading ignorance as, excuse for neglect or duty.
At "Good of the Order" each night, the Orator or some other competent person, may be appointed to prepare a short essay for the next meeting, confining himself in all cases to such subjects as will tend to promote the efficiency of the Order and the understanding of its object; also arrange for the holding of such literary or social exercises as may be found instructive, dignified and entertaining.
Opening of the Gate
Promptly at the hour appointed for the meeting, the Master Zionist will request the officers and members to take their places in accordance with the following instructions:
M. Z., *: The officers and members will please take their respective stations.
M. Z.: The Sentinels will please close the doors; the Conductor will come forward, give me the password and take the same from those present.
The Orator takes the left and the Conductor the right side of the M. Z. If any member be found without the password, the Conductor will report the fact to the V. M. Z., who will impart the password to said member if he be in good standing, and he, in turn, will give it to the Conductor. When the Conductor has made the round and found that all are Zionists, requesting all who cannot give the password to retire. they will go to the center of the room, and saluting the Master Zionist, by the sign of the Order, report thus:
Conductor: Master Zionist, we find that all present are Zionists and entitled to a seat among us.
The M. Z. will give * * * with his gavel, when all will stand. He will then open the meeting as follows:
M. Z.: Officers and Brethren: In opening this Gate I would request that you give your undivided attention to all matters submitted for consideration, as it is for our own interest, the good of the Order and welfare of the Gate. Would the ex-Master Zionist please offer up the prayer?
If the ex-M. Z. is not present, the M. Z. will call on some member to say the prayer: O Thou who dwellest in Zion! We are here assembled to work for the unification of the remnants of Thy people. Awaken our ambition to seek wisdom and knowledge, that we may in peace and harmony conduct the affairs of our Gate for the ultimate restoration of Thy people and land. Bless our entrance as well as our going out. Bless the members of this Gate and of the whole Order. Bless and comfort Thy exiled children and Thy desolate inheritance, according to Thy sure promise through Thine holy seers of old. Amen.
After the prayer the M. Z. will announce as follows:
M. Z.: I now declare … name of Gate Gate No. … of the Order Knights of Zion open for the transaction of all business that may be brought before it according to our laws.
M. Z.: Recorder, are there any candidates awaiting initiation?
R. will read the names of candidates.
M. Z.: Conductor!
C., rising and giving the sign of the Order: Master Zionist!
M. Z.: Proceed to the ante-room and question the candidates.
M. Z.: Financial Secretary, please proceed to the ante-room and collect from each candidate one initiation fee, One quarter’s dues, one membership certificate fee. etc.
The C. and F. S. retire and ask the candidates the following questions, writing the answers down:
C.: What is your name?
Do you understand the objects of this Order?
Are you prepared to assume the duties of a member and perform them faithfully?
The C. and F. S. return to the Gate and report answers to the Gate. Also the number of persons to be initiated.
C.: Master Zionist, I find … give the names of the candidates awaiting initiation, and they have answered the questions satisfactorily.
F. S.: Master Zionist, … give the name of the candidate has paid all the financial demands of the Order.
M. Z.: Are there any members of this Gate that now know of any reason why the candidate should not be admitted?
M. Z.: Conductor, prepare the candidates for initiation.
The Conductor, with one assistant for each candidate, appointed by the M. Z., retire to the anteroom. The assistants link arms with the candidates, and after marching to the door leading into the hall, the C. knocks on the door three times.
I. G.: Master Zionist, there is an alarm at the door.
M. Z.: Brother Inside Guardian, inquire who knocks.
I. G., knocks *: Who knocks?
C.: A brother stranger demands admission.
I. G.: Master Zionist, our Brother Conductor informs me that a brother stranger demands admission into our Gate.
M. Z.: Let him be led in.
I. G. opens the door. Conductor and assistants lead candidate to the altar, facing the M. Z.
C., saluting the M. Z.: Master Zionist, I present you a candidate who seeks membership into our Order.
M. Z. to the candidate: Who are you?
Candidate: יכנא ירבע
M. Z.: What do you wish here?
Candidate: שקבם יכנא יחא חא (I seek my brethren.)
M. Z.: For what purpose?
Candidate.: For the purpose of uniting my strength with theirs in promoting the cause of Israels regeneration.
M. Z.: Bro. Conductor, lead Candidate(s) to the Vice Master Zionist for instructions.
The Conductor ranges the candidates in front of the V. M. Z.’s desk and reports as follows:
C.: Vice Master Zionist, I present to you for instructions candidates who seek admission into this Order.
V. M. Z.: Candidates; you are now about to take the first step toward becoming a member of the Order Knights of Zion. In requiring you to take our obligation we ask nothing inconsistent with your civil or religious duties, but we expect obedience to the laws of the Order in letter and in spirit. With this understanding, are you prepared to assume the duties of a member of this Order?
If the candidate answers "no" he shall at once be led from the Gate.
Will you promise to do all you can to be a true Zionist?
V. M. Z.: Will you promise to have the welfare of your people at heart and protect the interests of this Order?
V. M. Z.: Conduct the candidates to the Master Zionist for further instructions and obligations.
If the candidate should not answer satisfactorily, he will be required to retire, or if any question as to his admission requires debate. he will retire until the Gate arrives at a conclusion. The candidate will be marched from the V. M. Z.’s chair to the Master’s chair.
C.: Master Zionist, I present you candidates who are seeking admission into our worthy Order, and who have thus far acted as becomes men who seek the path we are journeying on.
M. Z.: I bid you welcome, Sirs, and congratulate you. I hope your object in joining this Order is to promote friendship, unity and true Jewish sentiment among our members.
Our direct mission is to bring about the unification of our people and to assist our oppressed brethren in other lands in creating for themselves a publicly, legally assured home in Palestine. What are your qualifications as a pursuer of that object?
Candidate: With Israel’s sufferings 1 suffer, and in his joy I rejoice. I firmly believe in the future restauration of my people and in his ultimate deliverance from his sufferings in strange lands.
M. Z.: Can you affirm these assertions?
Candidate: I can.
M. Z.: Do so.
Candidate, raises his right hand: םא יכחל ינזשל קברח יניםי חכשח םילשזרי ףחבשא םא יחהםש שאר לע םילשזרי תא הלעא אל םא יברכוא אל
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
M. Z.: In performing your duties the Order will require from you strict attention, activity and brotherly love. With this knowledge, are you prepared to assume the obligations of this Order?
If they answer "no," they retire; if they answer "yes," the Master Zionist gives * * * with his gavel, at which all will rise. The candidate raises his right hand and takes the following obligation:
The M. Z. will read it in a clear and distinct voice and the candidate will repeat the obligation.
I, … candidate will repeat his name, in the presence of these witnesses, do. of my own free will and accord, pledge my word of honor as a man and a Jew, that I will strictly comply with all the laws and usages of this fraternity … name of Gate, No …, established by the Grand Gate of the Order Knights of Zion.
I will hold allegiance to said Grand Gate and be loyal thereto as the supreme authority of the entire Order.
I will obey all orders emanating from the Grand Gate or from the Subordinate Gate of which I am a member, as long as such orders do not conflict with my civil liberty, or my duties as a citizen.
I will keep forever secret, except when questioned by lawful authority, all official and business affairs of the society that may transpire during my initiation, and will never improperly communicate to any person any of the words, signs or tokens, and should I be expelled or leave the Order, I will consider this obligation still binding.
I will aid a distressed brother or his family when in distress as far as my circumstances permit.
M. Z.: Do you accept this obligation?
M. Z.: My brother Zionist, having contracted your obligations as a true and faithful son of the people of Israel, I will now invest you with the signs, grips, tokens and words of the first degree of the Order Knights of Zion:
M. Z.: Brother Orator will- please communicate to our newly initiated brother the lesson of the degree.
Orator: My brother, newly initiated! The first degree of our Order Knights of Zion is called the degree of fellow-zionists. The initiation through which you have passed in your journey to membership will symbolize to you the steep and thorny road over which Israel had and still has to travel among the nations of the earth, ever since it was driven from its home. In spite of all its sufferings, Israel never lost its hope for its restoration to the glory of a nation. But time and tide were against it. During the ages of darkness, persecutions and massacres, it was impossible for Israel to unite in one effort toward its salvation. The progress of civilization has paved the way for a better understanding between the children of our people as to their hopes and aspirations. And behold! Thousands of sons of our people commenced to seek their brethren for the purpose of uniting with them for the common cause. You are one of them. This we understood from your answer to our worthy Master Zionist: .שקבם יכנא יחא חא
My brother, fellow-zionist! it affords me much satisfaction to find that you have paid strict attention to the simple but instructive ceremonies of this first degree of the Knights of Zion, and I hope you will preserve in your mind the lesson they teach you.
I also conclude from your intelligence and attentiveness that you. will soon be capacitated to deserve a higher knowledge of our precepts, in receiving the second degree of Master Zionist, wherein your devotion to the good cause will be rewarded. Conductor! escort the newly initiated brother to the altar for final instructions in this first degree of Fellow-Zionist.
Conductor leads candidates to altar, facing the M. Z., and salutes.
C.: M. Z., I present you the candidate for final instructions in the first degree of our Order.
M. Z.: In coming into court, while in session, you will give the respective password to Outside and Inside Guardians, after which you will pass up the center of the Gate to the center pedestal on the side nearest the V. M. Z., face the M. Z., giving the sign of the Order here the Master will explain the sign; when the M. Z. recognizes the salute by the same sign, you take your seat if the Master Zionist should be engaged, turn to the Vice Master Zionist and do the same.
When you are at a meeting and wish to address the Chair, you will rise in your place, make the sign of the Order, and say, "Master Zionist!" when he recognizes you, you may proceed, but not before.
When you wish to cross the hall you will do likewise, and after you get permission, cross, but not before.
When you wish to retire from the Gate while in session, you will present yourself at the center pedestal, make the sign of the Order and say. "Master Zionist, I wish to retire;" getting permission, you may retire. Should the Master Zionist be occupied, turn to the V. M. Z. and get his permission, but never attempt to retire from the Gate without permission of the M. Z. or V. M. Z., when the M. Z. is otherwise occupied.
The gavel which I hold is the symbol of authority. One * demands order and seats, two * * call tip the officers, three * * * call the members of the Gate to their feet.
The Conductor will now present you with an application blank; it is your duty to secure the application of at least one good man for membership, and to continue to labor zealously to increase the membership of this Gate. As you will be held to a strict accountability for the performance of your duties, I present to you a copy of our Constitution and By-Laws. Learn your duties well and perform them faithfully.
I will now give the password for the ensuing term …, this password is used to protect the Gate from intrusion of strangers, and to compel members to pay their financial obligations; at certain stated times, the financial obligations become due, and at certain dates passwords are issued. A member is not entitled to the password who owes any sum of money to the Gate, nor can he participate in business nor hold office in the Gate. Never utter this password but in a whisper, and never give it to any member, but the proper officers when on duty.
Brethren of … Gate, No. …, I take pleasure in introducing to you Bro. …, who is a full member of the Order, entitled to all its benefits and privileges, and who will remain so as long as his conduct is guided by our rules, and his (or their) financial obligation is paid within the legal time.
V. M. Z.: In behalf of … Gate, No. …, I bid you welcome.
All: !החא זניחא
All take their seats.
Closing of the Gate
Master Zionist: Bro. Vice Master Zionist, what is your duty before closing the Gate?
Vice Master Zionist: To thank the Brethren for their kind attention to the business of this evening, hoping to see many more, at the next meeting.
Master Zionist: Officers and Brethren, you will please rise while the Bro. ex-Master Zionist closes the Gate with prayer.
Gives the signal to rise.
Ex-Master Zionist: God of Israel, for this evening our work is finished, but our task not yet completed. We have been here peacefully and in harmony together, and we are now ready to disperse again into the outer world, Be Thou our guide arid leader, that our harmony will never be disturbed, and permit us to witness the Restoration of Thy People and Land. Amen.
M. Z.: Brethren, our work for this night is performed; we part as we met, in the spirit of unity and fraternity, and cherishing the traditional hopes and ideals of our people, as members of … Gate, No. …, O. K. of Z. Be sure to attend next meeting and request absent brothers to do likewise.
The members will then salute the M. Z., after which the Gate is closed in the following manner: The M. Z. will rap * * * making the sign of the Order, as he says: Brethren.
The members will answer by the same sign and say: Master Zionist.
After which all will say together: !םזלש
This Gate stands adjourned to … name next day of meeting, in accordance with our By-Laws.