Tashlich, which means "cast off" in Hebrew, is a ritual performed on the first day of Rosh Hashana. If Rosh Hashana falls on Shabbat, the custom is postponed to Sunday.
Tashlich, which can be performed individually or as a group, is observed at a large, natural body of flowing water (e.g., river, lake, sea, or ocean). During the Tashlikh ceremony, the worshipers symbolically throw their sins away. Battery Park Synagogue members have traditionally performed this rite at the North Cove Marina overlooking the Hudson River and in the distance to the south, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
Some people throw small pieces of bread into the water, though many rabbis consider throwing bread into the water to be forbidden by Jewish Law. The Battery Park Synagogue custom, initiated by Audrey Comisky, is to throw flowers into the Hudson.
The name "Tashlich" and the practice itself are derived from an allusion mentioned in the Biblical passage (Micah 7:18–20): "You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." The Zohar, a Kabbalah text of the 13th century, states that "whatever falls into the deep is lost forever”. Thus, tashlich has adopted the act of symbolically throwing our sins into a flowing body of water to absolve ourselves of our past year’s sins.
The Maharil (15th century) explains tashlich as a custom that reminds us of the binding of Isaac and recounts a midrash about that event. According to the Midrash, Satan formed a deep stream in an attempt to prevent Abraham from sacrificing Isaac on Mt. Moriah. Nevertheless, they plunged, up to their necks, into the river and prayed for divine aid, whereupon the river disappeared.
Rabbi Moses Isserles, The Rama, (Krakow, 16th century), explains our going to a flowing body of water as an example of expressing God’s kingship over the world that He created.
As the custom’s popularity grew, many “non-kabbalists” began to denounce it. In their view, the custom created the impression that by throwing one’s sins away they might "escape" having to actually repent and making amends.
Today, the practice of tashlich is accepted worldwide although it is not practiced by Spanish, Portuguese and Yemenite Jews. In cities with few open bodies of water, such as Jerusalem, people perform the ritual by a cistern or mikveh. In Tsfat, residents climb onto the roofs of houses so that they can see the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee).
A TASHLICH SERVICE
MICAH (7:18-20) מי אל כמוך
Who, God, is like You, who pardons iniquity and forgives the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?
He does not stay angry forever but delights in loving kindness.
He will again have compassion on us, suppress our iniquities, and cast into the depths of the sea all their sins.
Grant truth to Jacob, kindness to Abraham, as You promised our fathers in days long ago.
Psalm 118 מן-המצר
In my distress I called on the Lord.
The Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me? The Lord is with me.
He is my Helper. I will see the downfall of my enemies.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
Psalm 130 שיר המעלות
A song of Ascents: Hoping for Forgiveness
From the depths, I call You, O Lord
O Lord, hear my voice; let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy.
If YOU would keep account of sins, O Lord, Lord, who could endure?
For forgiveness is Yours, so that You may be held in awe
I hope, Lord, my soul hopes, I await His word
My soul – for the Lord, more than watchmen for the morning, watchmen for the morning.
O Israel, wait for the Lord, for with the Lord is loving kindness and with Him, great redemption, and He will redeem Israel from all its sins.
Songs for Tashlich\שירי תשליך– Battery Park Synagogue
דוד מלך ישראל חי וקיים
David, King of Israel, Lives Eternally
Da-veed Melech Yisrael Chai V’kayam
הנה מה טוב ומה נעים שבת אחים גם יחד
How Good it is for Brothers and Sisters to Gather Together!
He-Nay Ma Tov Oo-Ma Na-Eem Shevet Achim Gam Yachad
אבינו מלכנו חננו ועננו כי אין בנו מעשים עשה עמנו צדקה וחסד והושיענו
Our Father, Our King, be gracious with us and answer us. Treat us justly and with kindness and save us.
A-vee-nu Mal-kay-Nu Chaw-Nay-Nu Va-a nay-nu key ayn banu ma-a-seem. A-say Ee-manu tzedakah va-chesed v-ho-she-ay-nu
מה טובו אוהליך יעקב משכנותיך ישראל
How Good are Your Tents, Jacob, Your Dwelling Places, Israel
Ma- Tovu O-ha-le-cha Yaacov, Meesh-k-no-te-cha Yisrael
ארץ זבת חלב ודבש
Israel, the Land of Milk and Honey
E-retz Za-vat Cha-lav Oo-d’vash
אשא עיני אל ההרים מאין יבוא עזרי, עזרי מעם השם עושה שמים וארץ
I lift up my eyes to the mountains and ask, “From where will come my aid; My aid will come from the LORD the maker of heaven and earth
Eh-saw ay-nigh el heh-ha-ree may-ayeen yavo ezree; ezree may-eem Hashem oseh shamayim va-a-retz
ישמחו השמים ותגל הארץ. ירעם הים ומלואו
The Heavens will be Glad and the Earth will Rejoice’; the sea and its fullness will roar
Yees-m’-chu Ha-sha-ma-yeem v’ta-gail Haaretz. Year-am Ha-yam oo-m-lo-o
האבינו שלום אליכם
May Peace Be Granted to You
Hay-vay-nu shalom A-‘lay-chem
עושה שלום במרומיו הוא יעשה שלום עלינו ועל כל ישראל
He Who makes peace in His heights, may He make peace upon us, upon all Israel and on all the world
לא ישא גוי אל גוי חרב ולא ילמדו עוד מלחמה
Nation shall not lift up sword against another nation neither shall they prepare for war anymore
Lo yee-sa goy el goy cherev v’lo yeel-m’-du ode meal-cha-ma
לשנה הבאה בירושלים הבנויה
Next Year in Rebuilt Jerusalem
L’Shana Ha’ba’a B’Yerushalayim, Ha-be-Nu-Ya
מצוה גדולה להיו בשמחה תמיד
Mitzvah Ge-Dolah Lee-Yote B’simcha Ta-Meed
It is a mitzvah to be happy
תורה (*7 ) צוה לנו משה, מורשה קהילת יעקב
The Torah, as commanded by Moses to Us, is the Inheritance of the Jewish people.
עם ישראל חי
(Am Yisrael Chai) The Nation of Israel Lives