Tashlich- if you missed it, it’s not too late!

This year, like most, over Rosh Hashana I participated in the holiday ritual of Tashlich, where we reflect upon and then symbolically cast away our sins.  I was fortunate that it happened to be beautiful out on Monday.  However, some years I haven’t been so lucky, and have had to miss the formal Tashlich ceremony because of bad weather, illness, or meals running incredibly long.

If you missed out on Tashlich this year, for whatever reason, don’t worry, you still have time to perform the ritual.   In fact, one can do Tashlich right up until the 6th day of Sukkot (October 7th).   If you can’t make it to the spot where your community normally does Tashlich, any body of water will suffice (although it is preferable that body of water contain fish).    The preference for fish is not actually so they will eat any bread you might cast off, but because fish are symbolic of G-d during this time of year, because they have no eye lids and therefore always have their eyes open and watching.

While it is believed that Tashlich developed as a formal communal ritual sometime in the Medieval period, some view the passage in Nehemiah 8:1 “And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate” as a Biblical reference to the tradition.

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