Tashlik is a beautiful ceremony that allows us to partake in a visual reminder of how God has forgiven our guilt. Tashlik is the 2nd person future tense of "Send" and is taken from the fifth word in Micah 7:19 where Micah is telling of God's character and then switches to talk to God speaking of what He will do: "You will send (Tashlik) all our sins into the depths of the sea." And so, as a prophetical act, worldwide, Jews will go to a flowing body of water, preferably the beach or a stream, recite scriptures and blessings, and then throw in bread crumbs and watch them float away. We are reminded of the symbolism leavening holds in the scriptures from celebrating passover and removing all Leaven from our dwelling places. Here, again in the Fall, God has crafted another opportunity to visually understand what Yeshua did for us in washing us clean of our sins.
You don’t have to go to the Ocean or find a raging river either. We’ve used our mammy’s Koi pond (the fish gladly ate our bread) and even one year, we flushed bread crumbs down the toilet (it eventually ends up in the sea, right?—and might I add, the toilet flush is definitely more effective than the tide at washing our crumbs away! I’ve often had my slice of bread washed back up on the shoreline much to my chagrin!). The point is not to find the perfect location, although the sea makes for a lovely backdrop, nor the perfect toss, although it helps, but the point is to create a teaching opportunity for ourselves and our children to really see how God takes away our sins when we repent and he REMEMBERS THEM NO MORE!
I heard a funny story from our pastor who mentioned that, when he was in college, he had
made a mistake and apologized to his roommate for it. All was fine until another
disagreement happened and the roommate brought up his previous mistake. Our pastor is quite witty, and retorted to his roommate “Thanks for going fishing with the Accuser and dragging that up from the bottom of the sea!”. You see, friends, Yeshua fishes for our souls, not our sins. He died, once for all. It is the accuser, Satan, who goes fishing for our past sins and tries to parade them in front of our faces to bring us shame. But They are paid for already. Yeshua bore our shame already, so that we would never have to carry shame ourselves!
What glorious news! What a glorious picture. That bread that we cast forth into the water will be swept away, taken and never seen again!
This is also a good lesson for us and our kids. Who do we want to be like? Do we want to be like Yeshua? To forgive and move on with reconciliation? Or like the Accuser, Satan, who drags up our past sins and wrongdoings at every opportunity to remind us how we are not worthy of God’s love? I know I’ve had to repent many a time to my husband for playing the role of the accuser rather than the forgiver. And Likewise, when our kids play the blame game, we edify them to not act as the accuser, but to cover their siblings in love and forgiveness, for Yeshua’s love covered our sins, so our love can cover a multitude of sins against us.
As you read the scriptures below, I encourage you to look them up in your Bible and read the whole chapters for context to understand the rhythm of God’s heart of redemption. Yes there is judgement, it comes strong and swift and righteously, but with repentance, God delivers and restores.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities.
You will cast all [a]our sins Into the depths of the sea.
7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers all transgressions.
Whoever conceals an offense promotes love, but he who brings it up separates friends.
1 John 1:9 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
You can find the traditional blessings and order of service here if you would like something more traditional, but honestly as a family we often say a more spontaneous prayer of confession and thankfulness, and read a few of the above selected scriptures out loud.