Sometime between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, it is customary
to throw bread crumbs into a body of water as a symbolic
act of repentance. Most Jews do tashlich the afternoon
of the first day of Rosh Hashana. Family and friends gather
together at the waterfront to "cast away" the sins of
the past year and resolve to be a better in the year to
The liturgy for the occasion is short and consists
mainly of selections from the Prophets (N'viim)
and Writings (K'tuvim).
We begin by reciting a passage from Micah:
Who is a G-d like you,
And sending away evil?
G-d will take us back in love;
You will cover up our wrongs,
You will hurl all our sins
Into the deep of the sea.
We read passages from the Psalms
affirming our closeness to the Divine before concluding
by reciting seven times:
Forever, G-d, your word stands firm in heaven.
The readings certainly embody the ideal of repentance
that is such a preodominant theme in the rituals and
customs of Rosh Hashanah. Tashlich is a way to
admit our own faults and symbolically shed the baggage
of last year's mistakes. In the face of our own personal
conflicts, we affirm our closeness to humanity and to
This year, because the first day of Rosh Hashana falls
on a Saturday (Shabbat),
Tashlich can be done as early as the afternoon
of the second day (September 15).
Other traditions: Tzedakah
Micah translation by Stephen M. Wylen
Book of the Jewish Year
© UAHC Press
Reprinted with permission