Saturday, September 19, 2009
DEALING WITH SIN
There is a somewhat obscure (to us gentiles anyway) Jewish custom called Tashlich that if it is observed at all, usually is done so by tossing breadcrumbs into flowing water, as a symbolic casting away of one's sins. The time to observe Tashlich is during time from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, which incidentally is being observed now. The Biblical base for this symbolic custom comes from Micah 7:19 - and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
Anyway, last year I read about Tashlich in our Temple Beth Israel's monthly bulletin, Kehillah, and found all this particularly interesting. And in looking at the various sites on the internet, as with many things Jewish there are dozens of reasons put forth to explain it, dozens of practices that may or may not be done, and a whole bunch of dates put forth on which it may be celebrated. And of course, various places on the internet say you should toss the crumbs in water where there are fish, and other places where it says you are forbidden to let a fish eat the crumbs.
The practice of Tashlich has never been universal, though more recently the younger, more "liberal" Jews have found it a nice way to integrate a physical act with a spiritual practice in an effort to more positively effect a change in one's life.
However, the author of the article added something very clever, and if you are like me, you’ll get a chuckle at it. He says: "Remember, the water has SYMBOLICALLY carried away your misdeeds....Just in case this is your first time experiencing Tashlich, courtesy of the Internet, here are some (crumby) suggestions:
For ordinary sins....White Bread
For particularly dark sins ...Pumpernickel
For complex sins....Multigrain
For twisted sins...Pretzels
And there are more at this website:
And never say the Jews don't have a good sense of humor!