REGINA — Gulls and Canada geese appeared virtually out of nowhere as a group from Beth Jacob Synagogue gathered on the shore of Wascana Lake to ritually cast away their sins and celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
“It is a physical manifestation of the spiritual intent to cast ones sins into the waters starting a new year, fresh, renewed with the hope that we do much better than we have done in the past,” said Rabbi Jeremy Parnes, speaking with the PM following the Tashlich ceremony which took place Sunday afternoon, Sept. 20.
The ceremony takes place between Rosh Hashanah, New Year, and 10 days later, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, often referred to as the High Holy Days for Jews. This year it took place Sunday Sept. 20 on the dock north of the Legislative Building formal gardens.
The brief ceremony included biblical readings and chanting of specific prayers before everyone was invited to cast a piece of lettuce onto the water for each sin mentioned: deception, vain ambition, stubbornness, envy, selfishness, indifference, pride and arrogance.
It was a little different this year, as lettuce was used instead of bread. The Wascana Centre Authority discourages feeding bread to the gulls and geese because it usually creates a mess.
It was a perfect day for it, warm, bright sun at 4:30 pm and little wind. Walkers and joggers passed by on the path that surrounds the lake and others were slowly walking through and admiring the fall colours in the formal garden. A few noticed the gathering but no one inquired and the ceremony was completed without interruption.