Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Food for thought

The first day of the two-day holiday of Rosh Hashanah has been very full. Full of God, prayer, symbolism, food, fellowship--all those good things that start the new year.
The soul-stirring call of the shofar was sounded in synagogues around the world.
Three friends came to have roast beef lunch at my table. We began with some of the symbolic foods for this day: dates, a round challah (for the cycle or "roundness" of a year), apples dipped in honey with the blessing that asks God to renew us for a sweet new year, pomegranate (may our merit be multiplied like the many seeds inside the fruit), and wine for the Kiddush blessing.
On this day Jews walk to a river or other body of living water, preferably containing fish, to do the Tashlich ceremony. I am lucky to have a spring and fish pond just ten minutes walk from home.
Following the ancient tradition, I read the proper Psalms and prayers from the prayerbook. Tashlich in Hebrew means "You will cast off." In the biblical book of Micah (7:18-19) it says:
"Who is a God like thee, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? . . . Thou wilt cast all our sins into the depths of the sea."
Trying to name a year's worth of sins (so many "sins of omission"), I took the little pieces of bread from my pocket and cast them one by one upon the water.
The fish surfaced and devoured them in a flash!

11 comments:

kjpweb said...

Toda!
Cheers, Klaus

richies said...

I really appreciate the pictures and explanation of your faith.

Petrea said...

Dina, you're a treasure. Happy new year.

Kris said...

It is kind of like an aquatic variation of the 'sin eaters' of medieval days.

Although I would imagine that this tradition came first!

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

lovely post, very thought-provoking

Dina said...

Thank you all, Klaus, Richies, Petrea, and Maria.

Kris, wow, that's a new one to me. Had to Google "sin-eaters." Oi!
Actually, our Tashlich custom has made a comeback in recent years among not-so-religious Jews.

Webradio said...

Beaucoup de choses à découvrir aujourd'hui encore...

Dina said...

Merci Webradio.

Shimmy Mom said...

What beautiful posts you've done about your sacred holiday. Yesterday we got together with a few other homeschool families to teach the children about it. We blew the horn (I didn't want to butcher the spelling) and had a lesson during our mini feast.
Shana tova, to you my friend.

Dina said...

Shimmy Mom shalom. Folks in Utah blowing the shofar and feasting for Rosh Hashanah! Sometimes I can't believe how far we have all come in mutual understanding and respect. So Shana tova, a good year, to YOU.

Reader Wil said...

Thanks again for the photos and the thoughts and tradition behind them! Your blog is one of my favourites.