Preparation of the Candidate
Great care was taken of the personal condition of every Israelite who entered the Temple for Divine worship. The Talmudic treatise entitled Baracoth, which contains instructions as to the ritual worship among the Jews, lays down the following rules for the preparation of all who visit the Temple: "No man shall go into the Temple with his staff, nor with shoes on his feet, nor with his outer garment, nor with money tied up in his purse." There are certain ceremonial usages in Freemasonry which furnish what may be called at least very remarkable coincidences with this old Jewish custom.
The preparation of the candidate for initiation in Freemasonry is entirely symbolic. It varies in the different Degrees, and therefore the symbolism varies with it. Not being arbitrary and unmeaning, but, on the contrary, conventional and full of signification, it cannot be altered, abridged, or added to in any of its details without affecting its esoteric design. To it, in its fullest extent every Candidate must, without exception submit. The preparation of a candidate is one of the most delicate duties we have to perform and care should be taken in appointing the officer, who should bear in mind that "that which is not permissible among gentlemen should be impossible among Freemasons "
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