PREPENT DAY 30
Elul 30 5775 – September 14 2015
We can’t turn back the clock. We can’t take back the words we’ve said or written after we’ve hit ‘send’ and we can’t reverse the violence we’ve inflicted on ourselves and others.
But we can take responsibility for our wrong behavior, make amends, step up to reclaim our best sense of self and commit to better future.
And that is we do today: The first day of the new year which is actually the last day of this past year. Jewish logic. Today is the official day of shedding the past. Today begins the tradition of ‘Tashlich’ that lasts through the next two weeks – it’s Hebrew for ‘throw away,cast off, discard, get rid of, highlight and delete’ – whatever is weighing on your heart.
The tradition of Tashlich teaches us to throw bread crumbs into a living body of water, substituting our transgressions and regrets. Or sins.
Sins are just another words for when we miss the mark, mess up, betray our highest notions of who and what we want to be. The moments of anger before we catch our breath and the eyes of the other, the seconds of fear that paralyze our trust, the hours and the days that send us spinning into depressions, confusions, self hatred and doubt. That extra cookie, those terrible words, boundaries crossed, laws broken, violence committed. Shame and secrets. Everybody’s got some.
Let it go.
Or some of it anyway.
On this Prepent day 30: Alone or with others, find a body of water (yes, it can be your toilet, but it’s such a beautiful fall day and there’s gotta be somewhere to walk to if you can?) Let your heart open and your mind resist less, and name each crumb, specifically, as you toss them overboard to feed the fish, recycling all this energy with gratitude, release, intention to change and improve and if need be, ask for help.
It’s an ancient pre therapy pagan ritual for better living, that somehow made its way into the heart of Jewish new year celebrations generations ago, beloved for how easy and profound it is for all ages. And how it happens outdoors.
Let it go and let it be. Shana Tova.
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