Crossposted From Under the Fig Tree
There’s something about the sea that captivates. Perhaps it’s the play of light on the water’s surface or the inexorability of its motions: back and forth, back and forth, it goes. Whatever the reasons, the sea beckons. Its hold on us is even more irresistible when joined to rituals such as tashlich, the symbolic casting of our sins into the water, an activity that is as much a part of the Rosh Hashanah repertoire of extra-synagogal things to do as eating a new fruit or dousing it with honey.
Little wonder, then, that over the years tashlich has held its own.
Wherever Jews lived — in England, France, the United States, Turkey or India — they could be found on the first day of the Jewish New Year, standing by a body of water, be it ocean, river, lake, stream, pond or creek. Some clutched clumps of bread in their hands, which they then threw into the current: away, away with our wrongdoings!