On Rosh HashanahThe Jewish New Year, also considered the Day of Judgment. The period of the High Holidays is a time of introspection and atonement. The holiday is celebrated with the sounding of the shofar, lengthy prayers in synagogue, the eating of apples and honey, and round challah for a sweet and whole year. Tashlikh, casting bread on the water to symbolize the washing away of sins, also takes place on Rosh Hashana., one of my favorite activities growing up was the ritual and tradition of tashlikh, throwing bread crumbs into flowing water to symbolize the throwing away of sins. There was a lake by my house, and a group of about six families who went to my synoguage would set a time and we would all meet for tashlikh. It’s become be a bit of a joke that almost everyone brings their leftover matzahThe unleavened bread eaten on Passover that recalls the Israelite's hasty escape from Egypt when there was no time for the dough to rise. Matzah is also considered the "bread of our affliction," eaten while we were slaves. from PassoverPassover is a major Jewish holiday that commemorates the Jewish people's liberation from slavery and Exodus from Egypt. Its Hebrew name is Pesakh. Its name derives from the tenth plague, in which God "passed over" the homes of the Jewish firstborn, slaying only the Egyptian firstborn. Passover is celebrated for a week, and many diaspora Jews celebrate for eight days. The holiday begins at home at a seder meal and ritual the first (and sometimes second) night. Jews tell the story of the Exodus using a text called the haggadah, and eat specific food (matzah, maror, haroset, etc).! I can’t quite explain why, but there seems to be a connection between the “bread of affliction” and the notion of absolving sins. It seems to fit so well!
This year (incidentally during Passover) we thought we’d add a new twist—specifically using junk food for the tashlikh tradition. Given all of the crazy ingredients in Oreos, Twinkies, and Doritos, and the struggles that so many of us have with eating healthy, it only seems to make sense! It’s like a literal manifestation of the “casting away” of sin—including junk food eating habits!
So at this year’s Rosh Hashanah, we’ll be adding this new little ritual!