Feast of Tabernacles 2017 . . .
Wednesday Evening, October 4 - Thursday, October 12
Over the years, the Season of Our Joy festival site has been called a number of things;
With that mixture of descriptions, I'd be scared to commit to 8 days with that group myself!
This page is dedicated to helping straighten some of that out, and to insure you that, even though you may be out of your 'comfort zone' for a while, you will leave this festival refreshed and enlightened, with a whole new outlook on what it means to 'observe' the festivals of God.
Season of Our Joy is designed to be a "community experience" for you, your family, and the friends you make at the festival. Instead of "coming to the festival" we hope you will "become a part of the festival". It's our hope that you will be able to get away from the hustle and bustle of the world and retire for these eight days to a place where your children can get out and play, go for a walk, and ride their bikes in safety. We hope that you will meet new people while walking to the various meetings and activities, and just enjoy each other's company.
We come to the festival because YHVH has called us worship before Him.
And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. (NKJ Zechariah 14:16)
Worship is an integral part of the festival - a "set apart" time. Even though YHVH takes special note of His people all during the festival, we believe He basks in the praise we lift up to Him during our time of Praise and Worship.
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. (ESV Psalm 22:3 )
Thus, we take this portion of each day veeeeery seriously! Our music is a mixture of 'popular Hebrew Roots' songs, Israeli folk songs, contemporary Christian songs, and even some of the favorite gospel hymns. Words to the songs are displayed on the overhead screen so that your heads won't have to be buried in a song book
Along with singing, we have set apart an area for those who would like to worship in organized 'Hebraic' circle dancing. This is all well organized and led by experienced dance leaders. The dances are not hard to learn, and SOOJ provides many opportunities where you can learn the dances in advance. We encourage everyone to participate, but we hope those who do choose to dance will take every effort to learn in advance so that everyone can enjoy this unique way of praising Yah. Except for those who worship with flags, we discourage anyone from dancing independent of the circle.
As part of our daily service, we follow the tradition of waving the Lulavim. This includes reciting the traditional Jewish blessing that goes along with the waving. Along with the waving of the lulavim, we recite the Shema, the traditional Jewish repetition of Deuteronomy 6:4-9. Other liturgy may be incorporated from year to year.
During the worship service, it's not unusual to see someone raise their hands. We believe this is a godly expression of joy. During the worship service, we request that everyone stand and refrain from carrying on normal conversation . . . we are, of course, honoring The King of Kings! Our typical worship service is about 25 minutes long except for the Sabbaths, when we might go longer.
Typical teaching sessions are 75 minutes long including 15 minutes for Q&A. Our speakers come from a wide religious backgrounds. Some may be very new to the Hebraic (Torah) walk, while others live a more orthodox Jewish lifestyle. We give them wide latitude in regards to content as long as they refrain from discussing certain controversial topics and as long as they're 'nice' and encouraging to the audience. This is, of course, the Season of Our Joy! We only choose speakers who support these core ideals - 1) they must believe that Yeshua is Messiah, and 2) they must believe and teach that Torah is relevant for the people of God.
We believe that all speakers must be accountable for what they teach, and be willing to back up what they've taught with scripture. The 15 minutes at the end of each session is for that purpose. All questions must pertain to the current topic. Though you may ask questions, we don't permit the audience to present their views in opposition to the speaker. Again - everyone has to be nice!
Evenings are usually filled with either an additional worship service, a fellowship meal, fun show, or a special event such as the Water Pouring re-enactment. Most evenings also include dance instruction for dancers of all levels.