Frequently Asked Questions -
Our site in East Texas will only accommodate about 180 people, but because we have not hosted Sukkot for the past two years (2020 & 2021), we are not sure what how many may come.
None planned at this time, but we would like to if someone will lead it. Nevertheless, we do attempt to have children-centered activities. Those who would like to organize and oversee a children's centered class or activity should contact us so we can get it on the schedule.
No. Some prefer to use the 4-letter name of God, but there again, some don't. There is plenty of scripture supporting both views. Our only requirement is that everyone be respectful of those who don't see it their way.
There are a number of views on the calendar, and we've studied many of them. Like the case with the Sacred Name, there's support in scripture for most views. Unfortunately, it's impossible to host the festival and support all the various understandings. Therefore, we've decided to support the one that we believe is most correct for the times we find ourselves in. Here's a few reasons for our belief: 1) God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33), and to depend on a calendar that requires sighting the new moon (however you define 'new moon') when trying to organize an event like this is not practical; 2) God has called us to begin a reconciliation process with our brother Judah. Judah has stayed together as a people, largely because of the calendar. We believe it would be against His wishes to automatically alienate them from us because we, mostly newcomers to this walk, have decided we are already smarter than them in this debate; 3) We believe the Torah establishes a line of authority when it comes to matters where there is little scriptural guidance. It appears that Jesus, Paul, and the other apostles recognized that authority and submitted to it. The calendar appears to fit into that category; 4) we believe that it's Elijah's job to 'restore all things', not ours.
The economic system God gave Israel was agriculturally based and designed for the people of God while they lived in the land of Israel. In effect, there was a sharecropping relationship between God and the farmer or the husbandman. To put it in the simplest of terms - man was to plant the fields and walk in God's ways; God was to bless the man for planting in faith and walking in His ways; man was to take a portion of what God had blessed him with to the festival and give it to the priests and Levites for their service to God in the Temple. We do not believe that we qualify as recipients of what was intended for the priests or Levites serving in the Temple. On the other hand, we do believe in 'spiritual giving, recognizing the needs of those who labor in the word, and we believe in common courtesy. Thus, we do have a donation box for those who appreciate the efforts and costs we have incurred in providing this unique opportunity to observe the festival in this setting.
People wear hats for various reasons. It's clear in scripture that the Israelite priests were to wear a type of turbin (a head covering) while performing their service in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple. Many women wear hats as a sign to their husbands acknowledging that they are under his covering. Many men do so to signal the same thing - - they are under Messiah's covering. The SOOJ leadership does not believe it's a requirement for a man or a woman to wear a head covering, but if that's what one wishes to do, that's fine. We do not consider it to be disrespectful to cover your head while worshipping, praising Yah, or praying.
Yes, there is a short list of rules, and they can be found on the Dress and Conduct Code page of our web site. The list serves to define specific boundaries within the much broader concept of Common Courtesy and Respect for others. Note that Camp Shiloh also has rules that pertain to pets and in regards to diving into the lake from either the bank or their swim platform.
Yes - everyone has a dress code! Just about everyone expects others to at least wear something while in public, and therfore, they have a dress code! The real question should be "How would you like for me to dress for your event"? The answer can be found on our Dress and Conduct Code page.
- Shofar (to help announce the beginning of events)
- Lawn chair (for campfire fellowship and to watch your children while they are swimming)
- Flashlight (some places are not well lit)
- Personal First Aid supplies (Camp Shiloh has no medical facility)
- Jacket and/or blanket (For night-time activities. East Texas weather is hard to predict)
Yes, but you still need to Register with SOOJ. In addition, there may be a small 'Day Use Fee' to help defray the costs of the festival.
Glad you asked! The best way to help is to be willing to take on a responsibility and fulfill it througout the festival. In addition, if you have specific skills or area you would like to help, just let us know via email or as a comment when you register. We especially need help on the day before and the morning before the festival to help set up the conference center and to assist others in setting up their tents. We also need daily help to assist in keeping the conference center tidy and helping to organize the group meal. If you have audio-visual experience, you can also help us in the sound booth' at each day's Main Sessions.
Each day's evening meal is 'theme' based, i.e. - 'American Food', 'Mexican Food', 'Soups', etc. Just bring something that fits the theme. Always try to bring enough for yourself and a few others.
Yes - We do encourage everyone to participate in the dance, but we ask that if you are not familier with Hebraic Circle Dance, please concentrate more on moving with the circle and not so much on getting all the steps right. You will eventually learn the steps, but if you do not move with the circle, others will run into you. We also ask that if your children participate, you be with them in the circle. Finally, we ask that women wear clothing that is appropriate considering the fact that there is a lot of turning and bending over.
Yes. After 16 years hosting SOOJ in locales that were hundreds of miles away from their home in East Texas, the founders decided to host a festival closer to where those in their fellowship live.
Yes. Lake Bob Sandlin is an great place to go fishing and water-skiing. There is a boat ramp at Camp Shiloh that is free to use. Note that SOOJ does not host any lake activites.
The Feast of Tabernacles is supposed to be a time of JOY. Thus we require our TEACHERS to refrain from teaching on four highly controversial topics in their Main Session or Break-Out session teachings. Those four topics are: 1) the 'Sacred Name' - specifically if you must or must not used it; 2) the 'nature' of God (one God, greater/lesser God, Trinity, etc.); 3) kosher laws - specifically if a person must/should follow the Jewish pattern, and 4) the calendar (how to determine the new month / new year). At other times, and at certain other teaching venues (i.e. - a midrash), discusison of these topics is permissible, and of course, they can be discussed outside of any teaching session.
Yes, but he/she must register check in with us when they arrive. We prefer that everyone register in advance if they plan to attend SOOJ.
Just contact the festival coordinator early in the year. There is a contact form on the "Teacher's" page.