What is Tashlich?
Tashlich means “you will cast” and is a ceremony which takes place on Rosh Hashana and the days following. This ceremony has its origins in a saying by the prophet Micah “You shall cast out your sins into the depths of the sea.” At this time of year when we attempt to wipe the slate clean and remove our sins far away, we symbolically cast our sins into a body of water and watch them disappear. There is a short prayer service conducted beside the water, followed by the symbolic throwing of bread into the depths.
On Rosh HaShanah, Jews around the world participate in the ancient ritual of Tashlich. We go to a body of water and symbolically cast off the sins of the past year into the water to start the New Year with purity of heart. However, this is not the only time humans cast their “sins” into the sea. Every year, approximately six million tons of human-made rubbish enters the water, posing health and safety hazards to the animals that call the sea their home. Marine debris is a blatant violation of the fundamental Jewish ethical principle Bal Tashchit.
This year, we are offering our community the chance to “reverse tashlich.” Instead of throwing things into the water, we will collect rubbish and throw it away.
Because the first day of Rosh HaShanah this year is Shabbat, Tashlich is deferred to Sunday.