When I lived in Southern California, it was traditional for many Jews to go to Venice or Santa Monica, in order to “cast away their negativeness and sins (Tashlich, Tashlik, Tashlikh)” during Rosh Hashanah. It was an emotional sight to see the Jewish community gathering together, at the sea, heads bowed and heads raised upwards, in prayer. But, the sea is not the only place where we can achieve Tashlich.
Prayer seeking forgiveness on Rosh Hashanah, and reflecting on the issues within our lives in order to improve in the year ahead, can also be attained at a pond, a river, a lake, or other sources of water. If you do not live near a natural water source, use your bathtub, kitchen sink, or even use a sprinkler in your backyard, or a small, child’s inflatable pool. Some of these ideas might sound silly, absurd, but it is the thought that counts, the idea that water is a symbol for absorbing our sins, our impurities. It signifies our determination to move forward in a positive light, and not repeat the negativity of the past.
Water is viewed as a cleansing, and a healing power, to restore the mind and the soul to a new beginning. We hope G-d can forgive our negativities.
My Jewish community meets at a local point by the Columbia River every year. We stand together, as one community, praying. And, we stand individually, as one person, reflecting on the past, and praying. We pray, we ask forgiveness, we cleanse our souls and mindsets, and hope to be included in the Book of Life for another year.
Let us all, no matter our religion, or no religion, endeavor to be nonjudgemental, understanding, mindful, positive, and kind, in our days ahead.
Copyright Lorri M.