A Tashlikh Ritual for Accepting Infertility

ripples on water

The Couple:

The couple opens the ceremony with the following words: To everything there is a season a time to embrace and a time to stand back; a time to sow and a time to reap; a time to laugh and a time to weep; a time to hold on and a time to let go. Our time to sow has ended; our time to let go has begun. Still, in the recesses of our minds there lingers the thought perhaps it would have worked next time. Perhaps we should try once again. Therefore, we need to cast away our regrets and “what ifs” like the sins we throw into the water on Rosh Hashanah. Let this moment be the New Year for us. To paraphrase the prophet Micah, “God will have compassion on us. We will cast all our qualms and dim hopes into the depths of the sea.” (Mic. 7: 19)

The couple then takes bread crumbs, or fallen seeds or nuts, or rocks and throws them into the water, or across the field, or into the woods.

After a moment, all those present may pick up nuts or stones to throw, too, and join their friends in ridding themselves of past dreams and unrealized expectations.


Then, the gathering turns back to the couple and says: A pronouncement of the word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi: I have shown you love, said the Lord… and I will pour down blessings upon you… And all the nations of the world shall account you happy.”(Malachi l l2, 3:10,12) So may you find it, and so may it be God’s will.

And the couple says:


From A Ceremonies Sampler: New Rites, Celebrations, and Observances of Jewish Women, Ed. Elizabeth Resnick Levine (San Diego: Women’s Institute for Continuing Jewish Education, 1991), pp. 47–51.

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