Let’s Throw Stones – Tashlich

Into the Depths of the Sea

Into the Depths of the Sea

“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?  You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.  You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).

Tashlich comes from the Hebrew word meaning ‘to cast.’  After the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and there could be no atonement for Israel on Yom Kippur, a tradition of ‘casting stones’ was created.   The traditional ceremony involved filling your pockets with small pebbles or stones and ‘casting’ them into a body of water.   The body of water was to be ‘living water’ or a place where fish were able to live.

To celebrate tashlich, stones are gathered representing the sins that individuals have committed either willfully or unknowingly.  They can be little pebbles or larger rocks depending on the situation and the personal view of that sin against God.   The gathered stones are then placed into the person’s pockets to remind them that sin hinders and becomes a burden in our lives when it remains unconfessed.  As each stone is taken from the pocket and thrown into the water, it is symbolic of not only confessing those sins, but also repenting from those sins.  Some people yell out their sins while others remain contemplative.

Tashlich is a fun and memorable way to act out Yeshua’s atonement for sin with God hurling all of our iniquities and sins into the bottom of the sea. It is also holds the powerful reminder that like the stone which remains in the bottom of the sea, our sins do not float back to the top and return to us.  They remain ‘cast away’ forever.

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also for give you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14).

Tashlich is more than just a time for us to repent to God for our sins and turn back to Him, it is also a time for us to forgive one another.   Yeshua says that we are to forgive a brother (or sister) seventy times seven.   It is up to us to forgive those who have offended us whether its 490 times or 490,000 times.  It is important to live with a clear conscience with our family, friends and acquaintances.  As stones are thrown into the water, we can ‘cast away’ all offenses that may have been committed against  us so we can live in peace with each other as well as God.

“Because his mercy toward those who fear him is as far above earth as heaven.  He has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.  Just as a father has compassion on his children,  the LORD has compassion on those who fear him” (Psalm 103:11-13).

©2011 Tentstake Ministries, excerpt from Journey with Jeremiah on amazon.com

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