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Tashlich All Your Questions Answered


What Is Tashlich?


One of the lesser known traditions of Rosh Hashana is Tashlich. Tashlich is a ceremony in which we stand before a source of running water a river or a sea and make a declaration called the מי קל כמוך. This declaration is mysterious. It is taken from the book of Micah and in it we highlight the 13 attributes of mercy through which we ask Hashem to judge us.

What is strange is that Rosh Hashana is all about crowning Hashem King of the world. The world of confessions for sins is reserved for Yom Kippur. So what are we actually doing at this ceremony?

In the ancient world the method of coronation of the king was two fold. Trumpets were
Sounded to herald the coronation. The nation would gather to crown the king. Often this took place at a river to symbolize that the reign of the king should live for ever. Some suggest that we view the Tashlich ceremony as certainly containing elements of this event.

Why Is It Important?


Tashlich adds an additional layer to the themes of Rosh Hashana. On the one hand it is part of the corronation ceremony of Hashem, crowning Him King of the world. On the other hand, the texts recited moves us into the world of repentance, which will be the focus of the 10 days of Penetnece which concludes with Yom Kippur. 

When Is The Tashlich Service? Tashlich service

The tradition is to recite the Tashlich service in the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah. However if the first day is Shabbat this is held over until the second day. The reason is that we need to have a machzor- The Rosh Hashanah prayer book- and we cannot carry on Shabbat from a private to a public place.

But dont fret, if you miss the recitation on Rosh Hashana we have until Hoshana Raba (last day of Sukkot)  to recite the text.

What Do We Recite At Tashlich?

The text is from the Book of Micah (7:18-20) and hints to the 13 attributes of mercy

מִי־אֵ֣ל כָּמ֗וֹךָ נֹשֵׂ֤א עָוֺן֙ וְעֹבֵ֣ר עַל־פֶּ֔שַׁע לִשְׁאֵרִ֖ית נַחֲלָת֑וֹ לֹא־הֶחֱזִ֤יק לָעַד֙ אַפּ֔וֹ כִּֽי־חָפֵ֥ץ חֶ֖סֶד הֽוּא

Who is a God like You, Forgiving iniquity And remitting transgression; Who has not maintained His wrath forever Against the remnant of His own people, Because He loves graciousness!

יָשׁ֣וּב יְרַֽחֲמֵ֔נוּ יִכְבֹּ֖שׁ עֲוֺֽנֹתֵ֑ינוּ וְתַשְׁלִ֛יךְ בִּמְצֻל֥וֹת יָ֖ם כָּל־חַטֹּאותָֽם

He will take us back in love; He will cover up our iniquities, You will hurl all our sins Into the depths of the sea.

תִּתֵּ֤ן אֱמֶת֙ לְיַֽעֲקֹ֔ב חֶ֖סֶד לְאַבְרָהָ֑ם אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּ֥עְתָּ לַאֲבֹתֵ֖ינוּ מִ֥ימֵי קֶֽדֶם׃

You will keep faith with Jacob, Loyalty to Abraham, As You promised on oath to our fathers In days gone by.

May You be inscribed in the book of life


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