In Hebrew, pronounced ad-o-noy, being the plural of excellence for Aden, meaning to rule, and signifying the Lord. The Jews, who reverently avoided the pronunciation of the sacred name JEHOVAH, were accustomed, whenever that name occurred, to substitute for it the word Adonai in reading. As to the use of the plural form instead of the singular, the Rabbis say, "Every word indicative of dominion, though singular in meaning, is made plural in form." This is called the pluralis excellentiae. The Talmudists also say, as in Joannes Buxtorfius, Lexicon Chaldaicum, Talmudicum et Rabbinicum, that the Tetragrammaton is called Shem hamphorash, the name that is separated or explained, because it is explained, uttered, and set forth by the word Adonai (see Jehovah and Shem Hamphorasch).
Adonai is used as a significant word in several of the advanced degrees of Freemasonry, and may almost always be considered as allusive to or symbolic of the True Word.
The Encyclopedia Masonica exists to preserve the wealth of information that has been generated over the centuries by numerous Masonic authors. As Freemasonry is now Speculative and not Operative, the work of a Mason is now conducted in the quarries of symbolism, literature, history and scholasticism. Freemasonry encourages intellectual exploration and academic achievement in its members and many Masons over the years have taken up this calling. The result has been that an incredible amount of philosophy, symbolic speculation and academic insights have been created. However, as Freemasonry teaches, human knowledge is frail and fragile. It is easily lost in the turnings of the ages and unforeseen catastrophes can result in great setbacks to human knowledge.
For too long these great works have sat on forgotten shelves, gathering dust and concealing the light that could be shed on the darkness of our ignorance. The Encyclopedia Masonica has been created to act as an ark, sailing through time, to ensure that future generations of Freemasons have access to the same knowledge that inspired the Brethren that came before them. It will contain the works of such Masonic Luminaries as Albert G. Mackey, Manly Palmer Hall, G.S.M. Ward, Albert Pike and many others. The Encyclopedia Masonica is a living work and the volunteers of Universal Co-Masonry will continue to labor until the most comprehensive Masonic reference work the world has ever seen has been created. The Encyclopedia Masonica is open to any who wish to use it and will remain open so that the treasures contained within may increase the wealth of all those who seek its wisdom.
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