Tashlich: Casting Away Our Mistakes

Rosh Hashanah has a special cleansing ceremony called tashlich, which means to “cast” or “throw away.” It is a chance to symbolically get rid of our bad actions.

Typically practiced on Rosh Hashanah afternoon, people gather by a flowing body of water – a pond, river, ocean, well, or backyard fish pond (or if no flowing water is accessible, a bucket of water will do) – and throw bread crumbs into the water.

Tashlich can be an occasion to talk about your mistakes (the ones you were thinking about as you threw your crumbs) and ways you can grow and improve.


Hands On!

A Twist on Tashlich

Bread isn’t healthy for all animals, and some communities discourage throwing food into rivers and streams. While bread is customary, there are other ways to cast your mistakes away. Try these twists on tradition:

The trick with stones is to toss them gently, making sure no one is in the stone’s path.

or flower petals, pine needles, or something else that already exists in your ecosystem.

No matter what you decide to toss, remember that tashlich is like “cleaning your heart’s closet.” Think about things you regret having said or done, then let them go.