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DIY Tashlich (Do It Yourself)

1 Go to a natural body of water that you can access easily. Tashlich calls us to cast our sins into a body of water like an ocean, river, or lake. Usually observed on Rosh Hashanah, Tashlich can be done any day until Yom Kippur. If you don’t live near a natural body of water, use running water from a hose or faucet, or a bucket of water. 

2 Examine what you’ve struggled with in the past year.  Tashlich requires that we review your behavior over the last year before we can cast away our sins. Remember, everyone struggles with mistakes and sins, so be honest with yourself. Read about sin and teshuva (repentance) at orami.org/hhd.

3 Take a meditation walk. After thinking about our actions over the past year, we consider how to improve in the upcoming year. Taking a walk offers time to meditate about ways to change our behavior and return to holy living. 

4 Use Or Ami’s Tashlich service (Click Here). Use Or Ami’s Tashlich service for readings and songs like Eli, Eli; Listen and Shema; Turn, Turn, Turn; and Hashiveinu.  

5 Offer a prayer about your hope for the year. Talk to God (aloud or in your head), being as honest as possible, about your past year. Speak how you plan to do better: Do my relationships reflect kedusha (holiness)? Can I be there for people who need me? The kind deed: did I perform or postpone it? The unnecessary word: Did I say it or hold back? Did I acquire only possessions or insights and knowledge too? Did I live fully? If not, how can I?

Cast your mistakes and sins into the body of water. Reach into your pockets and grab the breadcrumbs or metaphorical sins, and throw them into the water. When you let go of them, breathe out and watch them wash away. 

Adapted from Robin Leonard Nafshi