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Tashlich at the Beach

On your own, you can create a meaningful Tashlich experience. Whether you are at Paradise Cove or near the Pacific Ocean, near a stream or lake, or at home by a pail full of water or a running hose. Use this service to bring holiness to your sacred teshuva (repentance) work. 

1) The Hebrew word “Tashlich” means “casting or throwing.”  We have come to this vast ocean to symbolically cast away our sins. The prophet Micah, speaking about how God helps remove Israel’s sins, said: “You, O God, will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea”. Today, as waves carry our crumbs away, we hope that God will help us cast away our own misdeeds.  We throw crumbs into the water, so that God’s creatures may eat, for in this season, we try to balance our moral setbacks with acts that promote life.  

palm tree

Sing Together:  Turn, Turn Turn 

CHORUS: To everything, turn, turn, turn.  There is a season, turn, turn, turn.  And a time for every purpose under heaven. 

A time to be born.  A time to die.  A time to plant.  A time to reap.  A time to kill.  A time to heal.  A time to laugh.  A time to weep.  

A time to build up.  A time to break down.  A time to dance. A time to mourn.  A time to cast away stones.  A time to gather stones together.  CHORUS 

A time to love.  A time to hate.  A time of war.  A time of peace.  A time you may embrace.  A time to refrain from embracing.  

A time to gain.  A time to lose.  A time to rend.  A time to sow.  
A time of love.  A time of hate.  A time of peace.   I swear it’s not too late. CHORUS

2) At the edge of flowing water, we yearn for shalom. We seek the inner peace and wholeness, which comes from forgiving others and forgiving ourselves. We come in joy as a community of friends, helping each other change our behavior. We come in prayer: yearning to be less frightened, truer to our innermost beings, and more connected the sparks of Holiness within. The Pacific Ocean is a place of eternal change, where the waves ebb and flow, and the currents are always in motion. Help us, O Holy One, to change and move on. Cleanse us. Strengthen us.  Bless us.   

SING Together:  If I Had a Hammer 

If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning, I’d hammer in the evening, All over this land.
I’d hammer out danger, I’d hammer out a warning,
I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters, All over this land.   

If I had a bell, I’d ring it in the morning, I’d ring it in the evening, All over this land.  
I’d ring out danger, I’d ring out a warning,
I’d ring out love between my brothers and my sisters, All over this land. 

If I had a song, I’d sing it in the morning, I’d sing it in the evening, All over this land.
I’d sing out danger, I’d sing out a warning,
I’d sing out love between my brothers and my sisters, All over this land.  

Well I’ve got a hammer, And I’ve got a bell, And I’ve got a song to sing, All over this land.  
It’s the hammer of justice, It’s the bell of freedom,  
It’s the song about love between my brothers and my sisters, All over this land.

3) Let us cast away the sin of deception, so that we will not mislead others, nor pretend to be what we are not. Let us cast away the sin of stubbornness, so that we will stop our foolish habits, and admit our will to change. Let us cast away the sin of envy, releasing our desire for what we lack, and instead counting our blessings. Let us cast away the sin of selfishness, which keeps us from sharing what we have with others. Let us cast away the sin of indifference, so that we may be sensitive to suffering of others and responsive to their needs. Let us be people who care about each other, live our Torah values, make the world a better place and listen to our God.

wave

Sing Together: Listen by Doug Cotler and Jeff Marx  

If you’re lost.  You feel afraid.  And you don’t know what to say. Then listen, listen to our God.   Is there a question on your mind?   Is the answer hard to find?  Then listen, listen to our God. 

Listen with all your heart and soul.  And with all your might.  Write them and learn them and teach them well.  Every morning and night.  Close your eyes and listen. 

Quiet yourself.  There’s nothing to say. Stop all the chatter that gets in the way.  

And listen, listen to our God.  When the wind and thunder finally disappear.   There’s still a voice that you can hear.  If you listen, listen to our God. 

You can hear it from the top of the highest hill. Or from the valley below.  It can come from the edge of the universe.  It can come from within your soul.  Close your eyes and listen. 

Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad.  
Baruch Shem K’vod, Shem K’vod, Mal’chuto L’olam Va-ed 

4) As we enter New Year 5781, we remember that we have within ourselves the power to change our lives by changing our ways. We can release ourselves from mistakes we have made. We can make teshuva, repenting the past and repairing the harm we have done to others and to ourselves.  

So we walk together down to the seashore. With crumbs in our hands, we say aloud, “May my sins be carried away”.  Then we throw the breadcrumbs into the sea as we pledge to repair our relationships and repair our world. 

Shana tova u’metuka.  May it be a good, sweet and healthy New Year!