- All the Questions
1. Also, can you be an Orthodox Jew and a Freemason at the same time? Because many Jews in Germany and the US in the 19th and early 20th century were also Freemasons. Or do you think that Freemasonry was something mainly practiced by Reform Jews because Freemasonry was an ecumenical movement. 2. Also, Freemasons claim to be "descendants" of the craftsman who built Solomon’s Temple. Is this idea compatible with Orthodox Judaism? 3. And what is the connection between Solomon’s Temple and the month of Marcheshavan?? Or, the Eighth Month? 4. How would you know if you were a descendant of King David?? 5. What does Orthodox Judaism believe about meaningful coincidences?
1. I’m not a specialist about the Freemasons, especially because much of their fraternity ideology is secret, revealed only to members, and one definitely must check the extent of Christian ideology before joining, nevertheless I do know orthodox Jews who were members (including my grandfather z”l!). I understood that when they came to America, many Jews thought that being a member of this international brotherhood would grant them safety from anti-Semitism, and that their fellow gentile members would aid them at times of danger, and that the Masons were also enemies of Hitler ym”sh. Nevertheless, I don’t know if they asked their rabbis’ opinion… 2. Many of the builders of Solomon’s Temple were gentiles, led by Hiram, king of Tyre (Tzor) in Lebanon, see Kings I, 5, so why not... but you should ask an historian who knows the Mason “secrets” about these things, and then I can answer properly. 3. Solomon (Shlomo) finished the Temple in the 11th year of his reign, in the month of Bul=MarCheshvan (Kings I, 6, 38). 4. Just as there are Kohanic families who have their family tree detailing (father-to-son) how they are direct descendants from Aharon (like the Gerbian kohanim, many Yemenites, and the Ashkenazik Rappaport kohanim), and Levi’im (although fewer) who know their detailed lineage (e.g. Rony Alshich, the Chief of Police in Israel, has his father to son list, dating back to Levi, the son of Yaakov), there are families (even fewer) like the Charlaps, who supposedly have passed down that they descend (father-to-son) from David. 5. Of course we believe that God runs the world (together with man's free-will)!