Last week after peaceful Rosh Hashanah services, we headed off to a favorite spot along the Chicago River for Tashlich.
When they boys were young and we didn't belong to a synagogue, we'd invite our friends to these woods and celebrate the "birthday of the world" with stories, songs, talk about what we'd try to do better in the new year and of course, challah with apples and honey.
Tashlich (tosh-leehk) is a ritual casting away of one's sins from the past year. This quiet spot in the woods is a great place for reflecting on the past and thinking about the one ahead. And as you can see there is a lovely body of water for dropping in bread crumbs and pocket lint (symbols of our misdeeds).
The problem is that no place is quiet and pensive if my boys are around.
Given their boisterous nature, I was surprised to spot another, calmer family in the forest preserve.
This time of year, it is customary to apologize to those you hurt, or may have hurt through words and actions. The Jewish concept of sin, is taken from the word's Hebrew meaning, which is to miss the mark.
Surely you have missed the mark in some ways this past year. I certainly have. And I ask for your forgiveness.
I had a boss who once put it quite bluntly. He'd walk around the office saying, "Sorry for being an a**hole."
I like the way my rabbi put it in this Rosh Hashanah reading:
And let us face the honest truth of our humanity:
while we harbor a terrifying capacity for destruction and violence
we never, ever forfeit the ability to choose another way:
the path of forgiveness and reconciliation
the way of Shalom.
Wishing you the path of Shalom, peace, in the year ahead.