What is Tashlich?

Tashlich means to “cast.” The Tashlich service is held on Rosh Hashanah beside a flowing body of water where we symbolically cast our sins (using bread crumbs/seeds) into the water symbolizing repentance (teshuva).  The earliest reference to Tashlich is in the book of the Prophet Nehemiah (8:1): “All the Jews gathered as one in the street that is in front of the gate of water.”

Before Rosh Hashanah and Tashlich

Please be prepared to bring bread crumbs, or, even better for the health of the ducks, bring seeds or peas to cast into the river.  And please print out this text for yourself or bring your phone where you can pull up both the text and music!

This do-it-yourself guide to the Tashlich experience is meant for each household to safely and individually move through the prayers and the ritual, at your own pace, 6 feet apart from other households, and masked. As households make their way to the Fairmount Water Works pier at the water’s edge, please make space for each other; only a few households at a time.  Despite physical distance, we will wave to each other and know that we are together in spirit!

L'Shanah Tovah Tikatevu (sing along)

L’Shanah tovah tikatevu,
L’Shanah tovah tikatevu.

Happy new year,
Happy new year to you.

A Prayer for Masked Tashlich

With devotion to the preservation of life,
as I stand today physically masked,
let me be spiritually unmasked.
May I have the courage to see my wrongdoings,
And the will to draw nearer to holiness,
That no mask, no disguise, no veil,
separates me from my loved ones, from my own truest self,
and from You, God, Source of All.

A Prayer for Tashlich

Here I am again
Ready to let go of my mistakes.

Help me to release myself
From all the ways I’ve missed the mark.

Help me to stop carrying
The baggage of my poor choices.

As I cast this bread upon the waters
Lift my troubles off my shoulders.

Help me to know that last year is over, Washed away like crumbs in the current.

Open my heart to blessing and gratitude. Renew my soul as the dew renews the grasses.

 Hashiveinu by Cantor Rita Glassman

Hashiveinu Adonai Eylecha V’nashuvah
Chadesh yameinu k’kedem

Turning, turning, turning ‘round
To the One whose love has no bounds

Help us, restore us, renew us once more
As you’ve done many times before
Give us the strength to begin again
And guide us in all that we do
Help us keep faith when we lose our way

‘Til we find our way back to You, back to You…

 Casting of Bread Crumbs/Seeds

We come to this river seeking to cast away
our mistakes, in the spirit of Ezekiel’s words: 

“Cast away from yourselves all your transgressions, and create within yourselves a new heart and new spirit” (Ezekiel 18:31)

(Throw bread crumbs into the water, reflecting on what you want to release.)


God Prepare Me To Be A Sanctuary (sing along)

God, prepare me,
to be a sanctuary,

Pure and holy,
tried and true.

And with thanksgiving,
I’ll be a living sanctuary for you. 

Ve-asu li mikdash
Ve-shachanti be-tocham

God, prepare me…