Tashlich for Communal Reflection

Rosh Hashanah begins on Sunday, and with it, the period of reflection to assess our lives and see: where am I measuring up? Where is my community measuring up? And where is there work to be done?

Many Jewish communities have a tradition on Rosh Hashanah of doing the tashlich ritual in which we cast away scraps of bread or stones into a body of moving water to physically release ourselves from transgressions we have personally done over the past year. We have much to heave up off ourselves.

The many ways we are both implicated by injustice and oppression, and made subject to it: none of us are free from responsibility. But some of us are more responsible than others, measured by the ways we benefit from white supremacy, wealth, and colonialism. We offer this Tashlich for Communal Reflection for individual and communal use, as an opportunity to cast off the actions, large and small, from the past year that have impeded our work for racial and economic justice and for collective liberation.

Tashlich gives us an opportunity to sit in the quiet of our hearts: where have I acted on the side of justice, and where have I been complicit in racism, in economic exploitation, in systems of oppression?

By naming, and hurling the transgression away from us, we create distance from the past, and an embodied moment to re-dedicate ourselves to the change we need to shape this world anew. The physical practice of casting off that which has held us back gives us an opportunity to return again, open hearted and open handed, with courage, audacity, and hope for the work ahead. May it renew you on your journey.

To a year of goodness, sweetness and justice – l’shana tovah u’metukah v’tzedek,

Mackenzie Reynolds, Rabbinic Intern

(Artwork by Rachel Stone)