Tashlich, which means “to cast” in Hebrew, as in cast off your sins, is one of those little known, but exceptionally meaningful Jewish traditions.
Sherry Weiss welcomed a large group for the second year in a row to our service by the pond to observe the ritual of Tashlich.
Barbara Heft explained the ritual, meaning, and importance of this ceremony. Kim Schweitzer acknowledged the diversity of our community and conveyed our gratitude for the love and support our neighbors demonstrated by opening their hearts to Judaism, just by being here. Howard Zeitlin led the Tashlich prayer and instructed us to “throw bread into the water, reflecting on what you want to release.”
Tashlich is performed before a body of running water as small pieces of bread or breadcrumbs, representing sins, are tossed into the water. Just as the water carries away the bits of bread, so, too, are our sins symbolically carried away.
We take this time to reflect on the past year. In addition to our sins, we release our bad thoughts, sadness, stubbornness, anger, and envy. Lightening our load of bad feelings and making space for good and positive energy will allow us to go into this new year with a clean slate and have more peace in our daily life.
As American Jews we get to observe the New Year twice; Jan. 1 and during September when we celebrate Rosh Hashanah. A week after Rosh Hashanah we observe Yom Kippur where we are forgiven and begin anew.
In addition to the beauty of worshiping together (COVID precautions observed), all participants received a bag of dried apples and honey sticks, beautifully decorated by Florence Messer and Roberta Bowers. Another ritual is to dip apples in honey to represent a sweet New Year.
To all our neighbors at SaddleBrooke Ranch, L’Shana Tova, a sweet and healthy new year to everyone!