Sunday, 14 September 2014

Click on Send: Giving New Meaning to the Tashlich Custom

These days everything is a click away. So why not click on  

when you want to cast your sins to the sea?

Across the globe, Jews use Tashlich as a way of physically beginning the Jewish New Year with a clean slate by going to a body of water – ocean, sea, lake, even a fountain – reciting the Tashlich prayer, then symbolically tossing sins away by throwing pieces of bread into the water.

Around the world, Tashlich has forged creative customs. Iranian/Persian Jews shake their clothes out when they cast their sins to the water in order to feel lighter – as in losing several pounds. How about Weight Watchers trying that! German Jews have their variation of only shaking out their pockets. Meanwhile, the Jews of Mumbai, India equate Tashlich with cupid, and get dressed up in their best so that a bit of matchmaking can be done by the water.

Sounds quaint, not contemporary? O.K. Let's give Tashlich a 21st century twist. Ask yourself, what does the word Tashlichתשליך – mean? Its root is שלח, which means send. Don't we spend a good portion of our life clicking on a “Send” icon? So how about this: before Rosh Hashanah let's make up a list of the not so nice things we've done this past year and the people whose feelings we may have hurt. Next, let's compose individual “Sorry” notes before the holiday begins and click on “send” over and over until we've gone through the entire list. That way, when Tashlich rolls around we'll leave the bread at home and virtually throw our sins into the sea.

An up-to-date take on a timeless tradition. 

Shanah Tova!   


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