life in and around NYC is insane

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tashlikh

Tash⋅likh
  /Seph. tɑʃˈlix; Ashk. ˈtɑʃlɪx/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [Seph. tahsh-leekh; Ashk. tahsh-likh] Show IPA
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–noun Hebrew.
a Jewish rite, performed on the afternoon usually of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, in which the participants symbolically cast off their sins by gathering along the banks of a river, stream, or the like and reciting prayers of repentance.


Because yesterday, the first day of Rosh Hashanah, was also Shabbat, we performed Taslikh today instead.

My congregation is very fortunate. Right across the street from the synagogue is a small park. From the street it looks like nothing, just a patch of woods. but if you follow the footpath into the woods you will find a real pond. Tashlikh must be performed at a "living" body of water. There are fish and frogs and turtles in this pond -- we saw turtles today -- so it meets the requirements.

We parade up the street from the temple to the footpath, then along the footpath to the banks of the pond. We sing s few songs in Hebrew, say a few prayers, and then the Rabbi blows the Shofar.



then we throw bread into the water, symbolically casting away our sins.

It is a very cleansing, healing ritual.

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