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Jews cast away sins in traditional practice of Tashlich

By Frank Flegel

10/26/2016

A dozen members of Regina’s Beth Jacob Synagogue took part in the traditional practice of Tashlich — throwing away the sins of deception, vanity/ambition, stubbornness, envy, selfishness, indifference, pride and arrogance. It’s part of the celebrations of the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah. (Frank Flegel photo)

REGINA — A dozen members of Regina’s Beth Jacob Synagogue, on a cold and windy afternoon, took part in the traditional practice of Tashlich: throwing away the sins of deception, vanity/ambition, stubbornness, envy, selfishness, indifference, pride and arrogance. It’s part of the celebrations of the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the days of atonement.

A reading from the prophet Micah is recited: “You forgive iniquity and pass over transgressions; you who has not maintained his wrath against the remnant of your people; you who delight in kindness; you will again show us mercy and subdue our iniquities; and will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”

Later in the readings, which include some chanting, they are invited to cast their sins into the water to be taken away in the flow.
Usually it is done on the shores of a flowing body of water; Wascana Lake at this time of year isn’t flowing much, but it is the only nearby body of water.

Bird seed was used instead of the usual bread crumbs at the request of the Wascana Centre Authority. Gulls floating on the water or flying low over the lake must either have good memories or good eyesight because as soon as participants began symbolically throwing away their sins as represented in the bird seed, there was an almost immediate flock of gulls hovering over the water within a few metres of shore, anticipating something to eat.

The temperature as the group began to gather at the boat dock directly north of the Legislative Building flower garden was 13, but within a few minutes it had plunged to 8, with accompanying chill wind under an overcast sky.

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