December 17, 2014 · 25 Kislev

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Social Justice Tashlich

The custom of Tashlich takes place on Rosh HaShanah afternoon. During this ritual we go to a body of water and symbolically “cast our sins” from the previous year into the flowing water. The centuries-old ritual is a wonderful opportunity to be creative with themes covered in this guide. As we cast away our sins, we can also consider the actions to improve the world that we failed to take in the year past, and commit ourselves to doing more. Listed below are creative ways to incorporate the High Holiday social justice theme within the Tashlich ceremony. You may also choose a variety of readings; prayers or meditations to include in your ceremony to inspire you towards a year of action.

Use the service Tashlich for a Just City by Emily Bass to raises awareness of injustice and inequality and strengthen the participants’ resolve to take action.

Traditionally we “cast our sins away” in the form of bread crumbs or food. Instead, use pebbles or stones found near the water to remember those who face daily hunger – those for whom even the crumbs might mean the difference between life and death. As you participate in this ritual and begin the atonement process, think of ways you can act in the coming year to help those who are in need of food. Or, shake the dust from your clothing to perform the ritual of “casting away your sins” to reflect on environmental issues.

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