Biblical Holidays or the Appointed Times (Moedim)
There have been many writings, practices, and traditions on how to observe the Biblical feasts. Perosnally, I would prefer to follow what has been instructed in the Bible or in the Torah.
It is essential to understand though that many of the Biblical feasts days or appointed times (otherwise known as moedim) may require specific requirements --- such as temple sacrifices and actions to be ministered by the Levitical priesthood. Because of these requirements, we may not really be able to fully observe them today as Biblically instructed.
This is because most of these appointed times would require all or any of the following:
- The temple or place ordained by God.
- Levitical priesthood or Kohanim
5 You may not sacrifice the Pesach offering in just any of the towns that Adonai your God is giving you; 6 but at the place where Adonai your God will choose to have his name live — there is where you are to sacrifice the Pesach offering, in the evening, when the sun sets, at the time of year that you came out of Egypt.
29 “It is to be a permanent regulation for you that on the tenth day of the seventh month you are to deny yourselves and not do any kind of work, both the citizen and the foreigner living with you. 30 For on this day, atonement will be made for you to purify you; you will be clean before Adonai from all your sins. 31 It is a Shabbat of complete rest for you, and you are to deny yourselves. “This is a permanent regulation. 32 The cohen anointed and consecrated to be cohen in his father’s place will make the atonement; he will put on the linen garments, the holy garments; 33 he will make atonement for the Especially Holy Place; he will make atonement for the tent of meeting and the altar; and he will make atonement for the cohanim and for all the people of the community. 34 This is a permanent regulation for you, to make atonement for the people of Isra’el because of all their sins once a year.” Moshe did as Adonai had ordered him.
However, we can only memorialize or commemorate these Biblical feasts. This would mean that some, if not all, of the Bible feast days can only be done in memory of or as a remembrance of the moedim, appointed times.
Until all requirements prescirbed in the scriptures are met, we can only do these things in remembrance of the the Biblical feasts --- and not exactly observing the biblical feasts as instructed by God.
In the same way, we can commemorate these appointed times by simply doing what we think we can. I personally believe that God reads through our hearts and intentions -- specially at these times when we cannot really fulfill all the requirement in the Bible to observe these feasts.
One example I can think of is the Yom Kippur. Though we cannot bring an offering made by fire to God, we can try to refrain from work and take a rest spending the day atoning for our sins.
27 “The tenth day of this seventh month is Yom-Kippur; you are to have a holy convocation, you are to deny yourselves, and you are to bring an offering made by fire to Adonai. 28 You are not to do any kind of work on that day, because it is Yom-Kippur, to make atonement for you before Adonai your God. 29 Anyone who does not deny himself on that day is to be cut off from his people; 30 and anyone who does any kind of work on that day, I will destroy from among his people. 31 You are not to do any kind of work; it is a permanent regulation through all your generations, no matter where you live. 32 It will be for you a Shabbat of complete rest, and you are to deny yourselves; you are to rest on your Shabbat from evening the ninth day of the month until the following evening.”