It is customary during this time to ask for forgiveness from other people whom we have slighted or hurt during the year, since the atonement of Yom Kippur is between man and GOD alone. Only in directly forgiving the other person, can we approach forgiveness or reconciliation with others. It would be prudent to discuss and pray with your rabbi or spiritual leader if this person has passed on or is completely and totally inaccessible. It should be noted that even more difficult and more important than asking for forgiveness is being able to give it.

Is it possible to make a spiritual return and remain shackled to unresolved guilt and resentments? What doe the WORD tell us?

For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Don't not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:46-48

And forgive us our trespasses (sins), as we forgive those who trespass (sinned) against us. Matthew 6:12

Neither passage addresses the any other person's behavior or actions. It is a matter strictly of obedience to the Father's instructions for His child.

The next Shabbat that falls between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur is called Shabbat Shuvah - the Shabbat of Return. It is based on the predominant theme of this Appointed Time and on the opening words of the Haftarah portion (Hosea 14:2-10). It reads: "Return, O Israel, unto the L-rd thy GOD." It is customary for the leader of the service to give a long sermon on this day. In Europe, the Rabbis gave sermons only twice a year - On Shabbat Shuvah and Shabbat Hagadol (before Pesach).

Tashlich can be held on the afternoon of the first day of the Ten Days of Turning - or on the second day, if the first falls on a Shabbat or if the first day is rainy. It is customary to walk to a river or spring, preferably one with fish in it, and recite special penitential prayers. Remember this is a time for reflection and preparation. The major emphasis should be to remember your Creator, to go to our fellows first and then to Him for forgiveness and He will have mercy.

The participating families, parents and children, dressed in clothes with pockets, gather beside a stream to recite the Tashlich prayers, sing appropriate worship songs and take some time to reflect on the issues of repentance that are before them. It is customary to empty one's pockets and seams of the lint that has collected or casting breadcrumbs into the water. It is symbolic of taking away our sins and beginning afresh. For some folks, neither lint nor breadcrumbs will do, so they collect and stash small pebbles in their pockets on their walk to the river or spring fed lake.

Here is a rendering of the order of service that we usually perform:



Down by the Riverside

Gonna lay down my burdens, (V2-Gonna throw all my sins away) (V3-Gonna know I'm forgiven)

down by the riverside,
down by the riverside,
down by the riverside!

Gonna lay down my burdens, (V2-Gonna throw all my sins away) (V3-Gonna know I'm forgiven)

down by the riverside,
down by the riverside,
down by the riverside!

I'm gonna study Torah more,
I'm gonna study Torah more,
I'm gonna study Torah more,
I'm gonna study Torah more,
I'm gonna study Torah more,
down by the riverside!

Create in me a Clean Heart (by Keith Green):


Create in me a clean heart, oh GOD
And renew a right spirit within me
Create in me a clean heart, oh GOD
And renew a right spirit within me


Cast me not away from Thy presence, oh LORD
Take not Thy holy spirit from me
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation
And renew a right spirit within me



Parents begin the service by taking turns reading scripture:

Romans 13:11-14 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.

Psalms 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Micah 7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Isaiah 44:22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.



The following dialog is played out between a father and son in the group and the son asks his father the following questions:


Father: This afternoon the ceremony we are celebrating is called Tashlich.
Son: What does the word "Tashlich" mean?
Father: It is a Hebrew word that means, "Thou wilt cast."


Son: On the afternoon of Yom Teruah, why do we go to a stream containing fish?
Father: It is to remind us that we are like so many fish caught unaware in the net of sin. This awareness should encourage us to ask for forgiveness. For man also does not know his time: like fish taken in a cruel net, like birds caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them. Ecclesiastes 9:12


Son: What is the meaning of emptying the corners of our pockets after completing the Tashlich ceremony?
Father: By emptying the dirt from our pockets, we remind ourselves that we should look inside and brush away every trace of evil so that we may become free from sins.

Son: Why do we shake our clothes or pockets?
Father: Because sins are sticky! Sometimes they really cling or hang on. We should throw all of them away.



The solemn and penitent prayers of Tashlich:

First Reader: Micah 7:18-20 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.

Second Reader: Psalms 118:5-8 I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

Third Reader: Psalms 130:1-8 Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. LORD, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O LORD, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the LORD more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Fourth Reader: Psalms 33:20-22 Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

Leader: We have come to the river this afternoon, our pockets filled with rocks. The rocks are symbolic of sins. As you reach into your pocket and feel the pebbles, think about some sin, action or thought, for which you desire GOD's forgiveness. As you throw it into the moving stream, remember GOD's faithfulness to forgive sin. Know that He forgives you, that He is washing it away and thank Him. We'll now allow for a short period of silent preparation, then begin to throw the rocks into the river. After a few minutes, we'll gather in a circle for a closing prayer. Then, if you like, we'll spread out the picnic cloths for some tea and honey cakes.