The History Of Rebekahs
On September 20, 1851, IOOF became the first national fraternity to accept both men and women when it formed the Daughters of Rebekah, known today as simply, Rebekahs. Schuyler Colfax, (Vice President of the United States (1869–1873) under President Ulysses S. Grant), was the force behind the movement. Though the term sorority was not yet coined in this year, it may be considered that the Rebekah is the first and oldest sorority in the world.
What Does It Mean To Be A Rebekah?
In the Rebekah degree the stories of prominent women of the Bible are used to express universal traits that exemplify honorable living of courageous women; that teach exemplary living grounded in Friendship, Love and Truth the cornerstone for both Odd Fellows and Rebekahs. Rebekah, one of the first and great Matriarchs of God’s chosen people who exemplified beauty, grace, patience, hospitality and a humble spirit of service to others; is the worthy name of this degree.
Among other notable women of the bible are the mother of Samson, worthy of angelic discourse, willing gives her first born to Gods service in an indisputable act sacrifice and piety; Deborah a prophetess that courageously led her people into battle to defeat their oppressors; and Ester who exemplifies courage and patriotism to her country and her people, warning her King of a plot against his life and then foils a plan for (at the risk of her own life) the genocide of her people. Ruth is exemplary for her unfaltering commitment, who chooses God above all others. Sarah the great biblical Matriarch struggles in the face of difficult trails of faith, ultimately yielding to faithfully follow God. Miriam, the sister of Moses, exemplifies faith and hope as she delivers Moses to the river, who is saved by the Pharaoh’s daughter. Ultimately her tenacious faith and hope are realized in the deliverance of her people.
Rebekahs throughout the world claim as their own the honorable traits of women as exemplified through these great and distinguished women of the bible and others in history. Among these noble traits are beauty, grace, patience, hospitality, humility, sacrifice, patriotism, faith, hope, charity, commitment, courage and universal justice for all.
Other Degrees Of The Order
Once you have recieved the Rebekah Degree you are entitled to seek out the other degrees of our Order and are admonished to do so.They are the Ladies Encampment Auxiliary
degrees and after acquiring the Encampment (LEA) degree you may receive the Ladies Auxiliary Patriarchs Militant
Degree and all of the Odd Fellow
Degrees of Ladies Encampment Auxiliary (LEA)
The Encampment degree is a representation of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of old. The colors of the order are Royal Purple and Gold signified anciently as a symbol of royalty and the honor afforded one so elevated. The Patriarchs and Matriarchs of old were the leaders of their people as such they were expected to exemplify faith, hope, and charity. The Shepard’s Crook is a symbol of that leadership exemplifying their duty to diligently watch over and protect their flocks. Similarly the Matriarchs of the Encampment degree are required to relieve the sick and distressed with gentleness, compassion and sympathy.
The Degrees of the LEA
This is the companion auxiliary to the men’s degree of Encampment. Originally these degrees were open to their respective genders however; today all of the degrees of Odd Fellowship and the Rebekahs are open to both men and women of good moral character who believe in a supreme being. The aim of the LEA is the same as the men’s Encampment
degree. The title that the women of the LEA are called by is, Matriarch and in the men’s organization they are Patriarchs. The aim of both groups is to live up to the highest standards of character and that is the “Golden Rule.” We should always endeavor to treat others the way we would want to be treated. We are all brothers and sisters of a worldwide family and as such both Rebekahs and Odd Fellows believe in fraternalizing the world. By embracing these principles and teaching these universal truths; peace would be infused into our daily lives and ultimately envelope the world.
Ladies Auxiliary Patriarchs Militant (LAPM)
The White Rose, symbol of purity. Its spotless purity of color and its symmetry of form serve to impress us that in our daily lives our words and our actions should be such that, like the rose, we shed around us a halo that is felt, a presence that falls upon our fellows as does the fragrance of the flower, unseen, unheard, yet sweetly refreshing. It is also a symbol of what our thoughts should be and reminds us that in all things it is possible to draw around us the mantel of purity.
The LAPM Degree
The regalia of the Ladies Auxiliary Patriarchs Militant is the nurse’s uniform which signifies willing heart and hands that are ever ready to administer to those in distress or need. Gentleness is the most beautiful attribute of a woman’s character and nature. She is the natural comforter for those in sorrow, for her tender, sympathetic nature enables her to share the sorrow of others, lighten their burdens, lessen their grief, provide them with courage and show them there are those who care and wish to help them carry the load of sadness. Their guiding motto is Friendship, Love, Charity and Fidelity, which are constant reminders to strive persistently to make the lives of others brighter and happier. The labor of love should be performed now as our days are numbered.