Members cast away sins during Tashlikh service

Monday, September 21, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 12:44 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Jehoshua Casey, 6, tosses a piece of bread into the water as Noah Winton, right, watches alongside during the Tashlikh service on Sunday, Sept. 20, at Twin Lakes Recreation Area. In the Tashlikh service, part of Rosh Hashana, Jews throw bread crumbs into water to represent casting off the previous year's sins.

COLUMBIA – Members of Congregation Beth Shalom waited a bit longer than usual to cast off their sins for Tashlikh, a ritual of Rosh Hashana.

Because the first day of Rosh Hashana coincided with the sabbath, the congregation waited until Sunday to gather at Twin Lakes Recreation Center for its Tashlikh service.

Tashlikh is normally held during the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year. Because this holiday fell on the sabbath, or the day of rest, the ceremony was postponed.

“It’s a custom to go to a body of water, particularly with flowing water, and to throw into the water a piece of bread as if you are casting away your sins,” Rabbi Yossi Feintuch said.

About 30 people attended the service on the shore of one of the lakes at the park. Many families were present and listened attentively as Feintuch conducted the service.

“Think about what you want to get rid of in your personal life,” Feintuch said to those in attendance.

After the reading of scriptures, everyone turned toward the water with bread in hand.

Pieces of bread, large and small, flew in the air and landed on the water’s surface .  Many of the children threw their bread into the water with much enthusiasm.

“I’m getting rid on my sins for the new year,” said James Robinson, 7, who came with his parents and four siblings. Tashlikh is one of his favorite things about Rosh Hashana, he said

Linda Lowenberg, 57, and her husband have been members of the synagogue for more than 15 years.

“It’s a nice way to express my spirituality in nature,” Lowenberg said as her blue heeler terrier mix launched itself into the water after a green tennis ball.

“I enjoy the idea of being able to toss away my sins and focus on things I need to work on.”

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