Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tashlich




With a pocket full of bread, I make my way to the river. It is slow going as I pick my way among the river rocks and shells. Although its only 1pm, the sun is already demanding and its uncomfortable.
Tashlich - to cast off. The first day of Rosh Hashana is set aside to rid oneself of sin. Its the beginning of the High Holy days. Each year we're challenged to examine - take inventory. Time to search for those buried sins, right the wrongs, repair the breeches, restore what's been damaged. Time for appologies, forgiveness, restitution. Uncomfortable stuff. But necessary as we head into a new year - free and clear. And so we find bodies of water to cast stones or bread into. We act out a spiritual principle in a physical way. An object lession.
I listen to the words of Yeshua's close friend John as he reminds me -  If we claim not to have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we acknowledge our sins, then, since He is trustworthy and just, He will forgive them and purify us from all wrongdoing.(1John 1:8-9)
I have a promise I can take with me. And then the call from the shofar blast. Time to take action.


At the river's edge I watch the sparkling water. It becons me to reach into my pocket. The first piece of bread - into the water. It floats away from me. Confessing and releasing and cleansing. One by one - piece by piece. And then one last scoop for those crumbs. Little irritations, hurtful words, unnecessary thoughts - a final soul cleaning.
With a fresh and grateful heart I make my way back to others who have lightened their own souls. One last community prayer. The laughter of little ones as they splash in the refreshing water. One more rock to skip. Back to the routine of the day.

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