Feast of Tabernacles 2013 . . .
Wednesday Evening, September 18 - Thursday, September 26
My wife and I have been observing the festival all our adult lives. The festival has always been special for us. Each year as we got all our preparation work done here at home, the car and kids packed, and finally hit the road, we felt like we were leaving all our cares and worries behind and had entered a very special time – a time of fun, food, fellowship, and a closer relationship with our Father.
That’s what the festival is supposed to be – a microcosm of the ‘ Kingdom of God ’. For eight days we are free from a society filled with hate, sorrow, lust, and temptation while we feast on the Word of God and fellowship with God’s people, and during this appointed time we are keeping a ‘date’ with our Father and His Son, our Bridegroom.
For the past nine years, we’ve observed the feast differently than all those years before. Before, we left our hotel or condo each morning and headed for services. It was our ‘tradition’ to always dress ‘in our Sabbath best’ - you know, coat and tie, Sabbath dresses, kids in slacks and a tie. That was what was expected – so that’s what we did. But that was then.
Once we began our ‘Hebraic’ walk and started to observe the festivals a little differently, we realized that worshipping and honoring our Father is more than dressing up and listening to a sermon, it’s about entering into a whole new dimension through song, dance, and our general attitude toward God and our fellow man. Thus our family relaxed the way we dressed during the festival in favor of a little more comfort. I know a lot of you have done so also.
But when has comfort gone too far? I suggest that it’s when you don’t think you’re dressed appropriately to appear before the King’s throne. And not only that, it’s when your dress causes someone else to take his or her eyes off The Father and point them toward you. So, as you’ve probably guessed, the rest of this article is about how we dress at the festival and what’s considered appropriate by those of us here who are watching out for everyone at the festival.
In a recent article on this subject in First Fruits of Zion’s Messiah Magazine, Tikva Michael writes “The goal behind dressing modestly is to help others focus on our character and inner beauty without being distracted by what we wear 1.
So what defines ‘distracting’ clothing? It depends. If there is a room filled with men dressed in tee shirts and shorts and I walk in with a suit and tie, my dress is distracting. If everyone in the room is wearing shoes and I walk in bare-footed, that’s distracting. If a women bends over and flesh is revealed in her blouse, that’s distracting. Get the picture?
So here are some guidelines for what’s expected in the matter of dress at the teaching sessions in the main hall:
Am I being extreme? I hope not. I just want everyone to be able to enjoy their experience at the feast without having to repent each evening because he had judged another person because of what they had worn, or because his or her eyes were drawn to something that was not theirs.
Again, to quote Tikvah Michael, “Modesty helps us find the Godly spark in ourselves and in others. The manner in which we dress, speak, and conduct ourselves encourages this process. . .”2.
Shalom, and have a have a wonderful festival!
Tim Kelley (2006)
For more information about modesty - Click Here
1 Messiah Magazine, First Fruits of Zion , Issue 93, pg. 19
2 Ibid, pg. 19