At the Water’s Edge: A Tashlikh Prayer

four people, some wearing kippot, at the edge of a lake throwing breadcrumbs to perform the tashlikh ritual

This year, this afternoon, as you cast your bread upon the waters,

May you be as a baby yet unborn,

floating in Mother Ocean,

ready for the new life awaiting you.

May you be as a child at the water’s edge,

feeding breadcrumbs to ducks for the very first time.

May you be blessed with joy, amazement, wonder, innocence.

May you feel held by the Creator,

as little children feel safe and cared for,

holding the hand of a loving parent.

May you, with a single breath

and a determined arm,

cast your misdeeds and your mitzvot into the waters.

Yes, both.

May you be blessed

to let go of everything,

to be present in the moment,

a young child.

And may you be blessed with a true fresh start,

unencumbered by all the doings

and all the not-doings of the past.

With a slate washed clean

of both self-praise and self-effacement,

may you begin the New Year in freedom.

May you begin the New Year in freedom.

May your misdoings find their way

to the ocean floor,

where they are cleansed by the life that abides there.

May oysters transform them

into pearls of empathy

and may they rise to become beads of tikkun olam.

May you be blessed with courage

to embrace both your shadow and your light,

for if either is missing

there can be no human thread,

the mysterious place where mitzvot and missteps mingle

in the hands of the One,

in the cosmos of Life Unfolding.

And, finally, may you be blessed,

blessed to know,

in the deepest recesses of your being,

that no matter what, and come what may,

the soul – the soul that God gave you –

was, is, and will forever be,


And may we say “Amen.”

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