Gran Maestro

Journey to Israel and the MASONIC WORLD CONFERENCE

17st Session of the World Conference of Regular Masonic Grand Lodges Israel, Nazareth, 31st of May – 3rd June 2020

On behalf of all the brethren of the Grand Lodge of the State of Israel, I have the honor and pleasure to invite you to participate in the 17th World Conference, to be held in Israel on May 31, 2020.

Brethren, we will be delighted to welcome you to Israel, the Holy Land, the cradle of Freemasonry, where King Solomon built his Temple in Jerusalem.

This conference will give us the opportunity to learn, receive lectures and work together, with discussions on relevant topics pertaining to our Order, and to mankind as a whole.

We will, indeed, be happy to host you in our little country and to show you the history of freemasonry in the Holy Land.

The Land of Israel lies in the midst of the Middle East, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It has always been a focal point for visitors, conquerors, and pilgrims who have been drawn to its capital, Jerusalem. It is now a haven for archaeologists who uncover the roots of our past, and other areas of interest.

Israel is a small country, a narrow land with only 430 km on its longest axis, and the size of the state of New Jersey. Yet it’s full of history, archaeological sites, holy places to all major religions, and some impressive landscapes – from blue beaches, through arid desert, to bustling cities and technology centers.

Millions of tourists that arrive in Israel every year, enjoy recreation and vacation sites, attractions, pilgrimage to holy sites, and more.

Freemasonry in Israel began in the 19th century. In 1868, the first lodge in Israel, “Reclamation Lodge” was consecrated in Zedekiah’s Cave in Jerusalem, also known as King Solomon’s quarries, from which the stones of the Temple were hewn.

We know that lodges operated here under the jurisdiction of various grand lodges (such as those of Egypt and Scotland). These lodges were established by brethren who came to our region for economic or professional reasons.

Between 1933 and 1953, lodges operated in Israel under the auspices of the Grand National Lodge of Israel.

In October 1953, The Grand Lodge of the State of Israel was consecrated, and all the lodges operating in Israel united under its banner, creating a vibrant atmosphere of masonic activity.

The lodges in Israel work widely within their surrounding communities, support the needy, and promote the true principles of international freemasonry.

Under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge for the state of Israel, there are now 50 lodges operating throughout the country, from Nahariya in the north to Eilat in the south. The Masonic principles of equality are evident in Israel, as brethren from many different religions and ethnic groups, work together in harmony and brotherly love, sometimes within the same lodge.

This principle is manifested in the symbol of the Grand Lodge of the State of Israel, in which the Jewish star of David, the Christian Cross, and the Islamic Crescent are intertwined, representing the three main religions in this country.

Israel is a land of immigrants, such that our lodges work in 9 different languages: Hebrew, Arabic, English, French, Spanish, Romanian, Turkish, German and Russian.

With humility and appreciation, I thank you in advance for the honor that you shall bestow upon us by attending this important conference.

I am fully aware of the immense responsibility that I, with the help of my brethren, have undertaken in organizing this conference. Yet I am proud and excited to be able to host it in our country, under the banner of The Grand Lodge of the State of Israel.

I, and the Israeli brethren, will do our best to make this conference, and your visit, a successful and worthwhile experience.

In my opinion, the unity in “walking together” will lead us to further success and achievements in Freemasonry worldwide. I often quote part of the address to the brethren: “Brotherly love will distinguish us especially, as human beings and freemasons.”

Allow me to close by repeating the last sentence of the chaplain’s prayer, at the closing of our work:

“May brotherly love prevail, and every moral and social virtue cement us.”

With fraternal blessings,

Suliman Salem

Grand Master Of The Grand Lodge Of The State Of Israel

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