We enter our lodge and use many items to beautify it. Most important above all are the VSL, the square, the compass, the Charter and the Tracing Board. The latter is meant to be a teaching aid.
It is incumbent on us that when we are working in the 3rd Degree we expose the 3rd Degree Tracing Board on which there is a coffin, upon which are letters, a cypher for letters, working tools, a date and numbers.
These, as far as I am aware, do not appear to have aroused any questions from the Brethren sitting here. I have never ever heard anyone ask “what is this?” in any other Lodge in Israel, England or on any reputable Masonic internet forum.
Similarly in another rite, Scottish, where similar ideals are expressed in the advancement of our inner knowledge, but without Tracing Boards, we are introduced to aprons upon which are strange hieroglyphics in a language we do not understand & probably have never seen before in our lives.
We should be asking ourselves “Where did they come from?” and “Why that language?”
Interestingly enough their meanings are explained but without a direct connection to the apron.
For your information I shall tell you that the language is Samaritan; but this is not our subject matter of this lecture.
If you have read lodge minutes from other constitutions you may have noticed that some of these are dated with a year not in sync with our year Anno Domini. [AD] Why? Where did this originate?
In other instances we are exposed to Hebrew letters.
Why particularly this language?
Why was it so special way back in the 18th century that it was important to utilize and centralize its usage within Masonic ritual?
What I wish to do, I hope, is to extend one’s Masonic knowledge so that the reader will appreciate more especially the 3rd Degree Tracing Board and its relevance to Masonry in general.