boker tov. shana tova!


New contact lenses in my eyes this morning. Out with the old, flush.
It’s a day of replacing old with new, long live the next.


It begins grey today, this new year, thunderstorms expected, rain water coming down from above to meld in nicely with the tears coming down below. I don’t know about you but I do get emotional on these days, a lot. Last night, at our beautiful prayers in City Winery, I basically started tearing from the moment the first chord was played, all the way to the end. It felt good, cleansing, releasing, letting some of the pent up emotions go.


The first day of the new year is about that. Letting go. That’s why in the afternoon we go down to the river to shed away the year – not sins exactly, despite the popular belief, but simply, the symbolic trash of our lives. Breadcrumbs are the leftovers of our feasts, the memory of hunger, for more. Each crumb is emotion, hope, regret, mistake, rage, yearning, wrong.


Imagine the flight attendant walking up the aisle with a big plastic bag ‘may I take your trash?’


it’s the river speaking, the waters of the world, taking our trash, recycling bread crumbs into fish food, into nutrition that will enter our systems and so again.


The mere act of not just handing the trash over but flinging it, perfect throw, into the water, activates some distant memory of active loss – of determined shedding, of the will to lose this psychic weight and commit to better, lighter, more focused.


The actual walk to the water – an ancient, pagan, nature driven ritual taking us to the boundary between culture and nature, city and wild, human and beyond. Down to the river, down to where everything begins.



Like tress in this season of fall, we let our leaves go. Others will grow. And they too will gather. I am the tree, not these leaves, and maybe, maybe not even the tress, just the idea of a being in a bigger dream, inside a river, a single tear drop or a wave crashing into a shore, strewn with the crumbs of the past?


Trash? Shed.
Tashlich today at a river near you.  (Join me south of Spring St. and the Hudson at about 2pm, rain or shine)
Shed bread. shed tears. Let it go. Start again.


Shana Tova. Enter in Peace.


Rabbi Amichai & Lab/Shul’s annual Elul journey into the new Jewish year with 40 daily communally co-created inspirations to help us begin the year with more focus and presence.

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