In the traditional Tashlich ceremony, on the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah (except when it is Shabbat), we go to a body of living water and beseech G‑d to forgive us for our transgressions. The prayers that we recite there (printed in nearly every siddur) are based on a verse from Prophets: "He will again have compassion upon us; He will suppress our iniquities. And Thou will cast all their sins in the depths of the sea." (Micah 7:19) The concept of sin is one that manifests itself in the spiritual reality; the "sea" referred to in the verse above hardly refers to waters of the physical world. How can we literally cast a spiritual quality into a material entity?

Every action which we perform in this physical world has a spiritual counterpart in the Higher Worlds….

When "the sea", or any water, is considered metaphorically to exemplify the power to nullify beyond retrieval, as well as purify, we can understand the Tashlich ceremony to be a sort of meditative aid in our process of genuine repentance. We wish to truly leave behind all of our past transgressions and personal faults, emerging cleansed in a state of renewal - and Tashlich is a dramatic way of emphasizing such aspirations.

In addition, every action which we perform in this physical world has a spiritual counterpart in the Higher Worlds. By performing certain actions with the proper concentration, we actually do affect the higher, spiritual reality; this is one of the basic reasons in Jewish mystical tradition for the performance of all mitzvot. This Rosh Hashanah, may we merit to approach the life-giving source of all divine beneficence, our spiritual "stains" washed away.

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