Tashlich, Casting Sins


Above: Tashlich in Poughkeepsie. Click to enlarge.

Yesterday after services we went to the lake to symbolically cast our sins into the water. It's an old tradition, supposedly begun to give children something to do outside, and it's become popular of late. Traditionally you scour your pockets for crumbs to throw out, but you can also use stones. I started using stones after someone said that tossing bread can disrupt the ecosystem. Though stones disappoint the seagulls. I decided to choose just a few sins so I'd remember them: Ego. Lack of Discipline. Impulsiveness. Then I shortened them to: Ego. Indolence. Though those two don't cover the waterfront. I kept saying them to myself as I gathered more rocks and threw them into the water. Trying not to hit the birds. Trying to make the stones not look like food. The birds gather and wheel. One had orange on the top part of its wing. I thought it had gotten into some paint. Someone else thought that it was tagged. It seemed an odd way to tag a bird, though I have to admit that the orange paint made the bird easy to spot. I wonder if the other birds notice.

I used to think, as the bard put it, that I was more sinned against than sinning, or that my greatest sin was not appreciating myself, but I realize now that I was mistaken.



Above: King Lear, who was not Jewish

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