From the Master of Kadosh (September, 2013)

posted May 30, 2015, 12:59 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 30, 2015, 1:01 PM ]

Feast of Tishri

The origin of the Feast of Tishri (also known as the Feast of the Tabernacle) is described in the Old Testament where it is said that the Lord spoke unto Moses saying when "ye [shall] have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days:... 
This festival is loosely tied to the Autumnal Equinox, September 22nd, the Fall version of the equality of daylight and darkness hours. The upcoming decrease in the hours of light signals the beginning of the Harvest season, and consequently the Feast/Festival season to celebrate the bounty in both physical and spiritual actions.   
The origins and significances of the Feast of Tishri make it the most Scottish Rite of festivals.  Although originally celebrated as a harvest and gathering festival, no other occasion epitomizes the character and purpose of the Rite more wholly than our historic celebration, held in conjunction with the dedication of King Solomon's Temple.                                                        
To marshal the meanings of the feast is to summarize the principal ideals and traditions of our Fraternity.
First of all, we observe the Feast of Tishri because it is an age-old custom which now has the power of law.  Under the Statutes of the Supreme Council, the feast is considered an obligatory observance, a sharing of our fraternal spirit.
Secondly, the rich legendry of the Temple's dedication, held in connection with the Feast of Tishri, is an essential part of the Fourteenth degree.  The symbolic details of the Temple's position, design, construction, furnishing, and decoration carry special meaning as they apply to the metaphorical temple of Freemasonry built in the heart of every Brother.  Through the symbols of the Temple, we learn to recommit ourselves to building Freemasonry "in the hearts of men" and among nations.
Significantly, Solomon, a king of peace and wisdom, built the Temple.  Solomon, whose very name derives from the Hebrew word shalom, meaning peace.  Thus in observing the Feast of Tishri, we reaffirm our dedication to human concord and the brotherhood of all men in a world of peace.  As individuals and as Brothers in the Rite, we resolve to build, as Solomon did, through harmony and cooperation, ever seeking peace for all mankind.
The consecration of the Temple must be observed at the Feast of Tishri because it teaches the equality and unity of all members of the Rite. In the Feast of Tishri, all Perfect Elus and those of higher Degrees can join at the banquet table and share the bond of fraternal unity.
Yet another reason to keep the Feast of Tishri is that such observance fosters the spirit of fellowship....  Within the context of the Feast of Tishri, we realize more deeply than ever before the value of our fellowmen, without which the individual is lost in a self-imposed prison of human isolation.
Finally, the law, legendry, peace, equality, unity and fellowship of the Feast of Tishri combine to make this the Masonic feast of feasts.  At the refection table, all men - Jew, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, and others - join in a common voice of thanksgiving where every man can share his gratitude and express his sincere thanks to Him who made all things.  The Feast of Tishri celebrates, in part, the freedom to live our lives and share the beauty epitomized by our Fall harvests.
The ancient victory celebrated in the dedication of King Solomon's Temple is kept forever fresh through our keeping of the Feast of Tishri.  It promises to all men that the burdens of tyranny are temporary, that the darkness will yield to light, that knowledge will conquer ignorance, and that the Creator intended all men to be free.  The message of Tishri comes to us strongly and clearly from across the ages because it has been so preserved in the symbolism and allegory of the Scottish Rite.  Through our observance of this great feast of thanksgiving, we, as heirs of Solomon, perpetuate his magnificent Temple of freedom in our lives, our communities, our country and, most of all, in our beloved Rite.

Derived from the Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor and Guide, Third Edition by Arturo De Hoyos
Edited and content added by Gerald R Best 32nd degree for the San Jose Scottish Rite News

Jerry Best 32̊
Master of Kadosh