“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).
“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).
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 tradition involves filling your pockets with small pebbles or stones symbolizing the sins that you have committed either willfully or unknowingly over the past year. They can be little pebbles or larger rocks depending your view of that sin against God. The gathered stones are placed into your pockets as a reminder that sin hinders and becomes a burden when it remains unconfessed. As you take each stone from your pocket and throw it into ‘living water,’ a body of water where fish are able to live, confess each sin and repent from it.
“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 also the perfect time for us to right the wrongs we have done to others; it is the perfect time to forgive. Yeshua says that we are to forgive a brother or sister seventy times seven; forgiving those who have offended us whether it’s 490 times or 490,000 times. Confessing sins and asking forgiveness frees us to live with a clear conscience with our family, friends, and acquaintances. It also brings healing to our souls. As we throw stones into the body of water, we can ‘cast away’ all offenses that we may have committed and forgive those sins committed against us so we can be restored to one another in the Body of Messiah.
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