Today Ravid and I are went to the beach in Jaffa to perform "tashlikh" - the Jewish custom of emptying one's pockets into water on the eve of the new year. The objects thrown repesent sins and the experience is meant to symbolize spiritual and emotional cleansing.
I don't neccesarily believe in the idea of sin, but I believe in the idea of tashlikh. Since the beach here is polluted enough to begin with, we stocked our pockets with small scoops of bread, a feast for the fish. On the way to the beach, Ravid sang a Jaffa song:
"Here in Jaffa, everybody's dignified.
Here in Jaffa, anything can happen."
I've not heard this song before, but it does speak the truth. When we arrived at the beach, it was full of police vehicles and ambulances. A car was upturned on the sand, appearently it's driven through the boardwalk's railing.
Naturally, we decided to try Jaffa's other beach, the one overlooking the old city from the north. On the way there, winding through the alleyways, we happened to pass Abu Hassan's palace of hummous. The breaks screeched, the plates were brought into the car and cleaned up. Then we went on.
On to cleanse ourselves, to throw our sins in the cyan-tinted water. I read parts of a long poem I've written many years ago.
אני אל תוך הים פורק את הכיסים
והגלים רבים, יש ענקים וננסים
קרבים אל כף רגלי, פתאום מהססים
הכוכבים מעל מתמוטטים, קורסים
נושרים על לשוני, מתמוססים
ואל חשכת בטני באים ונכנסים.
There are about three or four people towards whom I've "sinned" somehow this year (and in at least one case they sinned back and got even). Mostly I tossed the bread and some scraps of Abu Hassan's pita in regret of a sin towards life. The sin of not recognizing often enough how beautiful and special it is.
A day like this, spent with a dear friend, and a dip in the waves like the one that followed, that helps. Shana tova to one and all, peace and love.