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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes May 2002

Masonic Book Award

The Friends of the Livingston Masonic Library, Inc. announce a winner for their 2000-2001 William W. Reese II Memorial Book Award, presented for outstanding scholarship on Masonry or Masonic related topics. This second year, the award winner is the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, Washington, D.C., publisher of The Valley of the Craftsmen. The Sovereign Grand Commander, C. Fred Kleinknecht will be present to receive the award of the Scottish Rite, S.J. This book is an invaluable reference for all those interested in Masonry in the United States, and presents a 200-year pictorial history of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, S. J. utilizing hundreds of annotated drawings and photographs.

The Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library contains substantial holdings of Masonic and Masonic related material of scholarly and historical importance such as: periodicals, newspapers, books, lodge records, certificates, and other items. In addition, the Library also houses a significant collection of museum quality Masonic artifacts including china, silver, textiles, painting, furniture and other objects. The Library devotes itself to maintaining these invaluable historical materials for future generations of scholars and historians devoted to Masonic and other fields of research.

It should be further noted that Valley of the Craftsmen was selected as a winner in the Pictorial Category of the 45th Annual New England Book Show.

The book is 10" x 12", 269 pages, 123 halftones, 252 color plates, cloth hardbound and is available at a bargain price of only $45.00 (s/h included) from the Supreme Council. To order send a check (domestic only) to The Supreme Council or VISA/MasterCard information to: The Supreme Council, 1733 Sixteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009-3103 or visit the online store at www.srmason-sj.org

Shriners Hospitals - Facts & Figures 2001

With the approval of 34,383 new patient applications in 2001, Shriners Hospitals had an active patient roster at year-end of 192,604 children. The total Shriners Hospitals budget for 2002 is $597 million.

Religious Tolerance in Freemasonry

One of our readers sent MSA a copy of a page from Freemasonry Today, a publication of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand. The article talks about Volumes of the Sacred Law on the pedestal, (altar in the U.S. and Canada). "In a recent letter to the editor of Freemasonry Today, reference was made to St. Luke in Essex Lodge No. 8714 (Hutton, England) where six different Volumes of the Sacred Law are placed on the pedestal. They are (in no particular order): Hindu Gita, Jewish Torah, Sikh Guru Granth Sahib, Christian Bible, Bhuddist sayings of the Bhuddha, Muslim Qran. In New Zealand, Lodge Mangere No. 330, (Manurewa, NZ) makes use of four different Volumes of the Sacred Law being: Muslim Qran, King James Version of the Christian Bible, Lebanese language version of the Christian Bible, Sikh Guru Granth Sahib. As they have a candidate of the Jewish Faith, they also expect to add the Jewish Torah shortly. In both cases these are visible and tangible evidence of the religious tolerance to be found in Freemasonry."

Izzy & Moe

The 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, dated January 29, 1919 states: After one year from ratification of this article, the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited. The 18th Amendment was ratified by 46 of the 48 states and went into effect on January 16, 1920, so now America was dry. Bro. Moe W. Smith was raised a Master Mason in Emanuel Lodge #654 on November 8, 1922. His friend, Bro. Isadore "Izzy" Einstein, was affiliated with Emanuel Lodge on December 13, 1922. Moe Smith played the Dr. Watson to Izzy Einstein's Sherlock Holmes, and they were probably the only two prohibition agents whom the public liked. They operated in the first years of Prohibition, 1920 to 1925, when it was comparatively hard to get a drink; the years when bartenders peered out through peepholes and new customers had to go through the formalities of presenting admission cards or saying "Joe sent me." Moe, although somewhat in the role of straight man, was a highly effective agent, but Izzy (the human chameleon), with his numberless disguises, was the color and front man. He was, in turn, a traveling salesman, a street cleaner, a banker, a bartender, a grave digger, a streetcar conductor, a Texas cattleman and, in Hollywood, a movie extra. You name it, he played the part. The pair closed innumerable speakeasies in every imaginable way. A speakeasy around Van Cortland Park was padlocked after Izzy arrived in a mud-covered football uniform and announced that the gridiron season was over and he was ready to break training. In Coney Island, he entered a drinking joint in a wet bathing suit, shivering and gasping for aid. Wearing an attendant's white jacket, he shut another saloon near a hospital. Izzy once tossed his agent's badge on the bar of a Bowery saloon and - this fat, unkempt individual - asked for a pint of whisky for "a deserving prohibition agent." The bartender sold it to him, thinking him a great wit. Izzy and Moe, rotund and cheerful men, made life so miserable for the prohibition-law violaters, that waiters, bartenders and speakeasy proprietors feared to sell liquor to anyone if a "rumor" circulated that "they" were in the area. On one of their busiest nights, the twosome raided 48 saloons. In their career they made 4,392 arrests, of which 95% ended in convictions. In its 125 year history, Emanuel Lodge No. 654 probably has never had two such colorful members as Isadore Einstein and Moe Smith - the famous "Izzy and Moe." 

(Source: Empire State Mason (NY), article by Albert Jenis, Carpenter-Emanuel Lodge #588)

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