Inauguration of the Masonic Forest Square in Jerusalem .
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
The Masonic Forest Square, which offers a magnificent view of the Arazim Valley, Jerusalem Park and the city of Jerusalem, was inaugurated as a gesture of appreciation to the Grand Lodge of the State of Israel of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons.
“This is a festive occasion for Freemasons all over the world,” said Avi Baranes, the Grand Master of Israel’s Freemasons. He emphasized the organization’s close links with Jerusalem, as the traditions of Freemasonry are based upon King Solomon’s construction of the temple. “Jerusalem is mentioned at every one of our meetings everywhere in the world,” said Baranes. “We shall ensure that every delegation that arrives in Israel will come to the forest and observe the mitzvah of planting a tree,” he added.
The Freemasons are a worldwide organization that stands for peace, equality and brotherhood. This ancient order has its origins in the stonemasons’ lodges of long ago, and it is based upon a moral code rich in allegory and symbolism. Today there are over twelve million Freemasons throughout the world, in 176 different countries. In Israel some 1,100 Jews, Muslims, Christians and Druze are members of the organization.
KKL-JNF Israel Fundraising Director Michael Ben Abu, who presided over the ceremony, told those present: “I’m proud to be a part of this magnificent project that was implemented in the Freemasons’ spirit of cooperation and which puts Israel on the map of Freemason sites worldwide; it brings with it a hope for peace.”
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