Regularly for years I talk to people from all over the world who are alone and without a local fellowship or congregation. Many times I am asked how it is possible celebrate the biblical feasts when alone and disconnected from the greater body of Messiah. Here are some suggestions on how to celebrate the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles (or Sukkot) if you are alone or are only a part of a small group of people.
The first things to keep in mind is that YHVH expected his people to keep the biblical feasts forever wherever their dwelling place happened to be whether inside or outside of the physical land of Israel. I have given proof of this in more details elsewhere, but below are a few Bible verses that state this truth succinctly.
The weekly Sabbath and the seven biblical feasts are for YHVH’s people to celebrate forever and wherever they may be living whether in our out of the land of Israel. The Torah instructs the saints to celebrate the feasts in you dwelling places (d) forever (f)
- The seventh-day Sabbath (Exod 31:17f; Lev 23:3d)
- Passover (Exod 12:24 f)
- Feast of Unleavened Bread (Exod 12:17f, 20d)
- Feast of Week/Pentecost (Lev 23:21df)
- Atonement (Lev 16:29f; 23:31, df)
- Feast of Tabernacles (Lev 23:41f)
Here are the biblical commands relating to Sukkot and how you can fulfil them if you are by yourself or with just a small group of people.
- Live in a temporary dwelling for eight days (Lev 23:42). Some people live in a literal sukkah made of tree branches. This is may not always be practical for people living in colder climates. In the past during Sukkot, I have lived in a tent, a tent trailer, a rented house and a motel room. For the past several years, my wife and I have lived in our travel trailer during Sukkot. We will do so again this year in a campground in the mountains.
- You shall celebrate and rejoice before YHVH Elohim (Lev 23:41; Deut 16:14).
- Wave lulavim (Lev 23:40). Every year, my wife and I purchase a four-species lulavim from Israel consisting of an etrog (or a citron, which is lemon-like fruit), a willow branch, a palm branch and a myrtle branch. You can make your own lulavim by taking some tree branches and fruit from your local area.
- Keep the High Sabbaths by ceasing your occupational work (Lev 23:35, 36).
- Drink wine and strong drink (Deut 14:26).
- Use your feast tithe to buy whatever your heart desires (Deut 14:22–27).
- Meet together and fellowship with others on the first day of Sukkot and on the Eighth Day (Lev 23:35, 36)via phone, Skype, Facetime, social media.
- Give a feast offering to those who minister the word of Elohim to you (Deut 16:16–17).
- Read the Torah (Deut 31:9–13).
- Sound the shofar (Ps 81:3).
- Beyond that, when the saints come together, or you are by yourself, we are to read and study the Bible, pray, fellowship with others as we are able, eat good food, praise and praise and worship YHVH Elohim (Acts 2:42, 47; 1 Tim 4:13; Col 3:16; Eph 5:18–19), and allow the gifts of the Spirit to flow (1 Cor 14:26).
- Here are some free Hoshana Rabbah resources to help you to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (or Sukkot):
Teaching articles on Sukkot: https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/teaching.html#feast
YouTube videos on Sukkot: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5EzE5DQnrHfWWbczzkRo6IOnglxhbRfM
Hoshana Rabbah blog articles on Sukkot: https://hoshanarabbah.org/blog/?s=Sukkot&submit=Search
Printable biblical calendars to know when to celebrate the biblical feasts: https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/calendars.html
Have a joyous Sukkot wherever you may be around the world, and we’ll talk to you when my wife and I return from practicing what we’ve just preached above!