Let's keep in touch!
Want to keep in the loop on the latest happenings at Harford Chabad. Subscribe to our mailing list below. We'll send you information that is fresh, relevant, and important to you and our local community.
Printed from HarfordChabad.org

Go collect those sins

Friday, 25 September, 2015 - 7:55 am

Tashlich - ancient Jewish custom to go, on Rosh Hashanah, to a body of water and “cast away our sins”.

Simchat Beit Hashoeivah, the Celebration of the Water-Drawing. During the times of the Holy Temple, on Sukkot, besides for the wine that was poured on the altar, water was also poured in a special ceremony. The water was collected from the Shiloach stream every morning of Sukkot at daybreak. A group of Levites and priests drew three log (a Talmudic liquid measurement) of fresh water to be poured on the altar after the daily morning sacrifice.

Reish Lakish said: "Great is the power of returning to G‑d [teshuva], for a person's intentional sins become like unintentional sins…" Reish Lakish also said: "Great is the power of returning to G‑d, for a person's intentional sins become like merits…" There is no contradiction. The first case speaks about returning to G‑d out of fear [of punishment] whereas the second speaks about returning to G‑d out of love [of G‑d] (Talmud Tractate Sukkah).

I learnt an insight this week that on Rosh Hashanah when we cast away our sins, it is because we are returning from a place of awe and we don’t want our sins with us. However, as we enter Sukkot, which is known as Zman Simchaseinu - the time of our rejoicing, we are continuing the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur experience and are returning from a place of joy and a place of love.  Now that we are returning from love, those same sins that we cast away on Rosh Hashanah are going to become merits. So on Sukkot we go to draw water so we can collect those sins and use those experiences as a catalyst for good.

We see this type of change from people like Csanád Szegedi , who we mentioned on the High Holidays, that his past as an anti-Semite is what allows him to fight anti-Semitism. His Sins are becoming part of his merits.

Please join us for some soup or salad on Sukkos, the holiday of joy, this Monday September 28 from 5:30-7:30 pm.

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman


Comments on: Go collect those sins

Anonymous wrote...

May G~D bless all and keep us safe. In these times when so many events cause so many people pain we must rely on G~D to guide us and help us stay strong. We are constantly tested with event's like the Oregon shootings and war in the middle east these become trying and dreadful times,please pray for those who are in harms way!