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.
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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.
Becoming a Rebekah offers many opportunities to:
Understand the principles of Friendship, Love, and Truth
Be involved in leadership training applicable to everyday life.
Have a more purposeful life.
Develop enduring friendships far and wide.
Become an active participant in your community.
Broaden your mind.
Help children, the elderly, and the less fortunate.
Develop an inner satisfaction that money cannot buy.
Have a warm friendly welcome in strange cities and distant lands.
Have companionship at a time of loneliness.
Enlarge your circle of friends.
Use your talents to help others
I AM A REBEKAH:
I believe in the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of man, and the Sisterhood of woman. I believe in the watch-words of our Order - Friendship, Love and Truth. Friendship - is like a golden chain that ties our hearts together. Love - is one of our most precious gifts, the more you give, the more you receive. Truth - is the standard by which we value people. It is the foundation of our society.
I believe that my main concern should be my God, my family and my friends. Then I should reach out to my community and the World, for in God's eyes we are all brothers and sisters.
I AM A REBEKAH!