Who are the Rebekahs?
Odd Fellows, recognizing the need for woman’s touch and her helpfulness in carrying out the principles of Odd Fellowship, brought into being the Rebekah degree, founded upon the principles of faithfulness, hospitality, purity and dedication to the principles of the Order as portrayed by women characters of the Bible.
The degree of Rebekah was accepted in 1851 as written by Hon Schuyler Colfax.
The degree was originally written for Brothers to confer on their wives and daughters and was considered an “Honorary Degree”. The degree could only be conferred at a special meeting and Brothers could also receive the degree, much the same as today.
Later, the Sisters were allowed to confer the degree on other Sisters, a ritual was adopted with the Sisters taking the parts. Rebekah Lodges were instituted and have continued to flourish.
This ritual has changed very little since 1851. It includes lessons from the biblical stories in the Old Testament of the women of the Bible.
We use emblems teaching lessons that are invaluable to be a Rebekah. The beehive, representing associated industry and the result of united effort. The moon and seven stars which teaches us the value of regularity in all our work. The dove, the beautiful emblem of peace. The white lily, a symbol of purity.
- Lucy Hobbs Taylor, first U.S. female dentist
- Gertrude Stein, writer and literary innovator
- Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady of the United States
- Georgia Dwelle, the first black physician
- Doreen Patterson Reitsma, Wren in the Royal Canadian Navy
- Bina West, one of the leaders of the Ladies of the Maccabees in 1920.