Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tashlich

So...by now we've probably devoted a significant amount of time putting into practice all the things we've been talking about: examining ourselves before God, going to other people to apologize for things we've done wrong over the year, repenting for sin, and making resolutions for a better new year...

If that describes you, Baruch Hashem!* If not--well, you're in good company.

Let's face it: our lives are busy. Once we get done at work, there's tons to do at home. And if you're student, well...

Our tradition has a solution for this. It's called tashlich. Haven't heard of it? It's simple: take some bread** (and a few friends if you want) and go to a stream or river. As you throw the pieces of bread into the water, think over the past year--about the things that have come between you and God, or you and other people. Then remember God's promise:
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (Ps. 103:12)
"That's it?" you ask leadingly. "That's it," I reply. There's no special blessings, no particularly prescribed way to do it.

In a season filled with many beautiful prayers aimed to assist us in voicing our heartfelt repentance to God, tashlich stands out as an action so basic that the simplest child can do it, even without fully understanding its meaning.

So if you're feeling like you haven't had enough time this season, I want to encourage you: try doing tashlich before Erev Yom Kippur on Sunday night.

*Bless God.
** You can also do tashlich with pebbles or stones if you feel that using bread is wasteful.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed this series, and want to encourage you to continue !! I"m not sure who the audience comprises, but what you're bringing to light is thoughtful, brief, relevant, sane (in a cacaphony of insanity) and encouraging. You're a blessing !! Michael

Yahnatan Lasko said...

Thanks for your encouraging words, Michael!