The Jewish New Year is almost upon us, as is one of my favorite parts of the holiday celebration – Tashlich/ Tashlich (tash-leek) is a ritual that is performed each year either on the first or second day of the New Year, where we symbolically toss away our transgressions of the past year. We do this by throwing small pieces of bread into a body of moving water. Traditionally, each piece of bread represents a sin, with the goal of wiping the slate clean for a sweet new year.
I first experienced Tashlich when my children were young, and I relished every moment…Being outside with my family, quietly taking a piece of bread, tearing it into tiny pieces, and either dropping them into a river or hurling them as far as possible. I love watching each piece move in the current, float, swirl, then finally sink and get absorbed by the water. Each piece of bread that I pinched off from the larger piece representing something I had done wrong in the previous year, and for which I wanted forgiveness. Not really the traditional meaning of Tashlich, but it worked for me.
On this day, 9/11, I cannot help but think of the upcoming Jewish New Year, and wish all of us the chance to re-set, to try to do better, and to hopefully have the opportunity for a little more love, laughter and peace as opposed to anger, bitterness and contempt. I encourage everyone, religion aside, to give Tashlich a try. All you need is some bread, a body of moving water, and the desire to try to be a little bit better.
To everyone impacted by 9/11, I wish you peace.