The psychology of tashlich

Hillel and Chaya Lester explain how the bread throwing ritual can alleviate a person's mind.

October 6, 2011 22:37
1 minute read.

tashlich. (photo credit: benjamin spier)

For Hillel and Chaya Lester, a rabbi and a psychotherapist, the act of tashlich is more than just a bread throwing ritual, it’s a cleansing of the mind.

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Tashlich is the ceremony performed after the Rosh Hashana prayers, where worshippers throw bread into a body of water.

The Lesters brought their three kids to the stream in the Wohl Rose Park in Jerusalem on Wednesday, where they discussed the deeper meaning behind the tossing of the bread.

Chaya Lester says a person can alleviate themselves of the guilt of their sins by throwing them away. She mentioned that it is similar to a type of therapy practiced by Sigmund Freud.

Hillel says that the tashlich ceremony should signal that a person can distinguish himself from their sins and the bread should be seen as the externalization of those sins. 

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