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A Time for Reflection and Letting Go

A Time for Reflection and Letting Go

So many beginnings.  We’ve just launched a new and remarkably unique school year and in two short weeks, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year arrives. One tradition connected to the new year taking on particular meaning during the pandemic is that of Tashlich.  Since this powerful ritual can be done independently or as a family, it’s perfect for these days of physical distancing. Tashlich, literally, “to cast away,” involves going to a source of running water and symbolically tossing away our “slip-ups” from the past year. It’s about pausing and seeking T’shuva, a return to our best selves. This year, in particular, we have all been tested and there is a power in asking ourselves, “What do I need to let go of, to rid myself of?”  This ritual provides the opportunity for a re-set and in the midst of challenging times, to also count our blessings. One beauty of Tashlich is that there is much room for creative interpretation around the ritual. Consider how you might personalize Tashlich for your needs at this time, and how you might encourage families to do the same.

A favorite Tashlich prayer of mine comes from Ritualwell: 

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 symbolic item 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. Amen.

And some final Jewish wisdom from the Velveteen Rabbi:

“Midrash holds that there is an angel assigned to every blade of grass, constantly and lovingly encouraging the grass to grow….May we be blessed with encouragement for our own growth during this holiday season.”

With the continuing demands of the pandemic, we seem to have no choice but to stretch ourselves and grow.

Wishing you a sweet New Year.  L’Shana Tova!

Here are some resources to inspire you to create a meaningful Tashlich ritual: