During the season of repentance that bridges Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Jewish faith teaches that we are called to do T’shuvah, to return to God in sincerity and truth. Through prayer and study, reflection and ritual, we strive to begin the new year in a spirit of humility, self-scrutiny and spiritual renewal.
On Sunday, members of the Shofar club of Newburgh’s Congregation Agudas Israel gathered at the Polly in Downing Park to observe Tashlih, a casting away of sins to mark the start of the Jewish New Year. Seeds tossed into the water to the appreciative inhabitants of the Polly symbolically cast away cast away accumulated sins and transgressions and send away unworthy thoughts so that we may purify our hears and souls as the new year begins.
The ceremony concludes with the blowing of the shofar, a trumpet devised from a ram’s horn. Rabbi Jacob Rosner described it as a wakeup call to change our lives.
Tashlih is normally observed during the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah,unless that first day falls on the sabbath, as it was this year. This year it was observed before sundown on Sunday, the second day.