Thursday, September 29, 2011


Ever since I learned about Tashlik back in 2002 or 2003 - by reading about this particular Jewish Ritual in the newspaper - I've been very curious. It is observed in the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and apparently is part of the business of dealing with one's sins during the interval between the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement. The idea is to take some bread crumbs, which represent one's sins, to some flowing water where fish are and after the appropriate prayers are recited, toss the crumbs into the water to be carried away by the water's flow. The symbolism is obvious. Although it is just my opinion, there are some participants who like to make the symbolic stand for the real thing -- and there are others who see the occasion as just another social event.

Now I was at my first Tashlich service last year, and because we were at the ocean and the city didn't allow bread (or any food) to be put in the water, the ritual was done with "symbolic" bread. Since I had taken bread crumb with me to toss, I instead ate them myself and then washed them down with a glass of nice white wine which my daughter had brought along with her family. (I don't think the wine was allowable on the beach either, but...)

So today we are going to a different Temple's observance. I am hoping it will be a little more serious. I'll report tomorrow on what we find there.

Now I have to tell you I have read a lot about Tashlik, and in many quarters it just isn't taken very seriously. In fact, below is a reproduction of a hilarious article written sometime back suggesting correlating one's sins with a particular type of bread. I laughed all the way through it and trust you will too. I will go this afternoon with some white crumbs from La Brea Bakery's Petit Baguette in a baggie. I am sure they represent something, but certainly not "Exotic" sins. More just general sins, I think.

Here is the definitive Tashlich Guide for the Complicated Modern Jew

For ordinary sins - White Bread
For exotic sins - French Bread
For particularly dark - Pumpernickel
For complex sins - Multi-Grain
For twisted sins - Pretzels
For tasteless sins - Rice Cakes
For sins of indecision - Waffles
For sins committed in haste - Matzo
For sins of chutzpah - Fresh Bread
For the sin of substance abuse/marijuana - Stoned Wheat
For the sin of substance abuse/heavy drugs - Poppy Seed
For the sin of committing auto theft - Caraway
For the sin of committing arson - Toast
For the sin of passiveness when action is warranted - Milk Toast
For the sin of being ill-tempered/sulky - Sourdough
For the sin of cheating customers - Shortbread
For the sin of risking one's life unnecessarily - Hero Bread
For the sin of excessive use of irony - Rye Bread
For the sin of telling bad jokes - Corn Bread
For the sin of being money hungry - Raw Dough
For the sin of war-mongering - Kaiser Rolls
For the sin of immodest dressing - Tarts
For the sin of causing injury or damage to others - Tortes
For the sin of promiscuity - Hot Buns
For the sin of promiscuity with gentiles - Hot Cross Buns
For the sin of davening (praying) off tune - FlatbreadsFor the sin of being holier than thou - Bagels
For the sin of indecent photography - Cheese Cake
For the sin of over-eating - Stuffing Bread
For the sin of gambling - Fortune Cookies
For sin of abrasiveness - Grits
For sins of pride - Puff Pastry
For the sin of cheating - Baked Goods with NutraSweet and Olestra
For sin of impetuousness - Quick Bread
For negligent slip-ups - Banana Bread
For the sin of dropping in without warning - Popovers
For the sin of perfectionism - Angel Food Cake
For the sin of being up-tight and irritable - High Fiber Bran Muffins

1 comment:

Olga said...

I just love that list of sins with the appropriate associated bread. I t seems like the Jewish religion has every detail of life covered!