Tonight at sundown begins what the Jews celebrate as Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year (Leviticus 23:23-25). One of the customs at this time is called Tashlich. This word means ‘cast off’ and is the process of taking crumbs of bread and taking them to a body of water (ocean, river, creek, pond) and allow each crumb to represent sin, say a prayer and throw (cast) it into the water to dissipate or be eaten by fish. Some say it follows the words of Micah 7:18-19:
“Who is a God like You, bearing iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of His inheritance?
He does not remain angry forever, because He delights in benevolence. He will again have compassion upon us. He will tread down our iniquities,
and cast all of our sins into the depths of the sea.”
I also remember the many years of Youth Camps where weI led young campers to write our sins on a piece of paper and at evening campfire we would pray and cast our sins into the fire to be burned up.
Though these rituals are effective reminders and good practices to prepare us for introspection it is only by repentance that sin is removed. It is not by water or fire…but by blood that sin is removed.
I’m headed over to the other side of the Pond to have Cuban Coffee and a Chunky Natural Peanut Butter and Apricot Jam sandwich. All the rest of the loaf of bread slices are going into crumbs and will be thrown into the Pond.
“Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed, and be thrown into the sea,’ it will be done.” Jesus