The Jewish High Holy Days are a time of spiritual renewal, an opportunity to make amends and to set new intentions for the year to come.
One of the practices associated with these Days of Awe, the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, is tashlikh (or tashlich), from the Hebrew verb meaning to cast away: at a body of water, a person invests pieces of bread with all the feelings of hurt and shame they caused in others or felt in themselves during the past year—and casts them down to be carried away by the current. Some suggest three castings: first, for the ills one caused others; then, for the pain carried in one's own body; and finally, a symbolic casting of hope for a renewed community of kindness.
The bread and the current aren't the important things—tashlikh can employ leaves or nuts (those things the trees are already beginning to jettison as autumn proceeds) or any objects, and the ritual need not involve water—what is vital is the casting away.
I pray, whether you engage in a physical act of tashlikh or not, that these Awesome Days might be a time of renewal for you. Let some things go, reconnect with what is good, forgive and ask for forgiveness, and summon up hopeful intentions for moving forward into a sweeter year.
Rev. Craig :)
Prayer for Tashlich
By Rachel Barenblat
Here I am again
ready to let go of my mistakes.
Help me to release myself
from all the ways I've missed the mark.
Help me to stop carrying
the karmic baggage of my poor choices.
As I cast this bread upon the waters
Lift my troubles off my shoulders.
Help me to know that last year is over,
washed away like crumbs in the current.
Open my heart to blessing and gratitude
Renew my soul as the dew renews the grasses.
And we say together: