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Chasidim

In Hebrew, pronounced Khaw-seed-eem, meaning saints. The name of a seet which existed in the time of the Maccabees, and which was organized for the purpose of opposing innovations upon the Jewish faith. Their essential principles were to observe all the ritual laws of purification, to meet frequently for devotion, to submit to acts of self-denial and mortification, to have all things in common, and sometimes to withdraw from society and to devote themselves to contemplation. Lawrie, History of Freemasonry (page 38), who seeks to connect them with the Masonic Institution as a continuation of the Freemasons of the Solomonic era, describes them under the name of Kasideans as "a religious Fraternity, or an Order of the Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem, who bound themselves to adorn the porches of that magnificent structure, and to preserve it from injury and decay. This association was composed of the greatest men of Israel, who were distinguished for their charitable and peaceful dispositions, and always signalized themselves by their ardent zeal for the purity and preservation of the Temple."

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