This time last year I was blogging about apple and honey, the Jewish New Year and my wishes for a sweet and healthy year ahead. In the same blog post I talked about visiting my sister-in-law in her cottage in Wales. I even posted up a photograph of the beautiful view from her front door. This year the apple and honey lay untouched on the plate. On Monday I came home from New Year prayers to the news that my sister-in-law had just passed away. She’d been very ill for a number of years but it still came as an awful shock.
That afternoon my friends from the Synagogue were gathering at a local stream to perform a custom called Tashlich. Tashlich is a Hebrew word that means ‘to cast away’ referring to casting away our sins. Prayers are said and pieces of bread are thrown into the water, each piece representing sins from the previous year. This year I didn’t join them. I was feeling too sad.
Tashlich is a therapeutic activity and I will do it, in a few days time. My sister-in-law always told me that I shouldn’t worry so much. She sometimes teased me, saying that I was a worry wort, so I’m going to try and do something about it. I'll take myself off to the local river and I'll cast away my worries into the water along with all my sins and all the negative things that have happened this last year so that next year... well... next year is going to be a year full of positive thoughts and positive outcomes... hmmm... I’ll do my best anyway.
Whether you're celebrating your new year now or in a few months time, let's all hope for a good one. Shona Tova.