Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tashlich, year 5773 AM (anno mundi)


 On  Rosh Hashana afternoon it is customary to do the Tashlich ceremony.
In the biblical book of Micah (7:18-19) it says:
"Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? . . . You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea."

"You will cast" in Hebrew is the verb tashlich.

The Jerusalem region has no sea or lake or river.
I am lucky to live  a short walk  from a spring-fed fish pond.

I read the prayer  and then took the symbolic bread crumbs from my pocket.
 I named a personal sin and threw a crumb in the water, named a national sin and threw another, a private sin of omission and tossed more bread.

The fish had a feeding frenzy!

Part of the symbolism is that a fish has no eyelids and cannot close its eyes, and so  too  may God always keep his eyes open watching over us.

You can see the nice Tashlich prayer here

Shava tova -- let the new year be a good one.
UPDATE: The newspapers now have photos of where Israelis like to go for Tashlich .


  1. Thank you Dina for telling this beautiful ritual. I think I need a whole loaf of bread to name my sins. Good to know that God forgives us , but I must also forgive those who hurt me.
    I saw all your jackal posts and found them great. I liked the way thy keep in contact with the rest of the group. Thank you for drawing my attention to these posts.

  2. Interesting :) I first read about this in a homily. It said ...

    "A Jewish custom for these days of Rosh Hashanah is to go and find a pool of water, a river, an ocean. Somewhere the fish swim freely. And there to empty your pockets into the water. It’s a double symbol. You throw away all the year’s sin, all its wasted hopes, all its unnecessary sacrifices. The fish carry them away. But you also leave with empty pockets. Poor with the poor. Little with the little ones. And you say thank you to God for all you have been given in giving it all away."

    It sounds like a good thing to do :)

  3. What great symbolism indeed. Will remain much in my mind. Thank you for teaching.

    Wishing you all a peaceful and happiness filled year ahead.

  4. Special symbolism in the fish and fountain.

  5. Slightly belated Shana Tova - Happy New Year, may it be a good one for you and yours.

  6. I recognize that fountain :).

    Fish have no eyelids? How bizarre. I guess I've never given it much thought before...

    May you be inscribed for a wonderful year.

  7. This is such a lovely custom. I remember this from when we were all back in Illinois by that river on McCormick.

  8. I remember that fountain..I will be back..
    May God watch over you and your country this year. His love never quits.
    Hugs from Tania

  9. That beautiful prayer sounds vaguely familiar, but I can't place it...

  10. Fish growing fat on sins? Now THAT's a story just begging to happen.


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