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22 Elul 5783

Rabbi Aviva Kipen

Progressive Judaism Victoria

September 10th 2023 is Global Clean Up the Waterfront Day, created by Rabbi Ed Rosenthal, who completed his service to Beth Shalom, Auckland in 1991. Tikkun ha’Yam the rectification of the sea, provides a reworking of the traditional Tashlich. Reversing the discarding of sins away into open water, Reverse Tashlich is a retrieval, a physical embrace of what we would rather allow to drift in the hope that it will disappear.

Traditionally a symbolic floating of sins onto moving waters (not unlike the displacement of sins onto the Scape-Goat of the Yom Kippur ritual) Tashlich sends away those things that fell short of the mark in the last year. The ecological sin of discarding modern junk into waterways provides the opportunity to retrieve, recapture and rehome offending items that are a hazard.

Looking at the impact of what has floated to the top and what appears to have sunk without trace but still lurks as a hazard to ourselves and others, our Rosh ha’Shanah Tashlich In Reverse, invites us to attempt to clean up our act. It begins with awareness and intention. It invites an ongoing commitment to shifting behaviour, so that we don’t leave so much “junk” behind.

See more Elul Reflections