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At Tashlich ceremony in Oxnard, sins are cast away as new year begins

At Tashlich ceremony in Oxnard, sins are cast away as new year begins

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Source: http://www.vcstar.com/news/local/oxnard/at-tashlich-ceremony-in-oxnard-sins-are-cast-away-as-new-year-begins-ep-1273705105-351108941.html

Posted: Sept. 14, 2015

At Tashlich ceremony in Oxnard, sins are cast away as new year begins

<p>ANTHONY PLASCENCIA/THE STAR</p><p>Rabbi Dov Muchnik, of Chabad of Oxnard, blows the shofar during a Tashlich ceremony at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort in Oxnard on Monday.</p>

Rabbi Dov Muchnik, of Chabad of Oxnard, blows the shofar during a Tashlich ceremony at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort in Oxnard on Monday.


By Anne Kallas

About 30 people gathered near the ocean Monday to symbolically cast away their sins during a Tashlich ceremony that featured prayers, honey and apples and the sounding of a ram’s horn, called a shofar.

According to Rabbi Dov Muchnik of Chabad of Oxnard, the symbolic casting of sins to fish swimming in a body of water offers a way for Jews to begin the new year — or Rosh Hashana.

The ceremony took place on the large expanse of beach by the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort in Oxnard, where activities for children and a prayer service were held earlier in the day.

After blowing the shofur 30 times — thereby allowing observant Jews to perform a “mitzvah,” or act of goodness — Muchnik observed, “One good deed leads to another. We hope the new year is much better than the 5,775 years that have gone before it. We are letting go of all negativity.”

Muchnik said Rosh Hashana is more than just the beginning of the new year.

“It is the beginning of 10 days of repentance, which ends with holiest day of the year: Yom Kippur, the day of atonement,” he explained. “During these days we focus on coming closer to God and coming closer to our souls.”

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, started at sundown Sunday and ends at sundown Tuesday. Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, starts at sundown Sept. 22 and ends at sundown Sept. 23.

The sounding of the shofar is a central part of the Tashlich ceremony.

“The shofur is the oldest, most primitive wind instrument,” Muchnik said, noting that the ram’s horn “produces a simple and plain cry right from our heart. It’s a call from our soul reaching out to God.”

Fish, too, hold a special place in Jewish lore.

“Fish represent kindness,” he said. “They have eyes that are always open. In the Jewish tradition that reminds us of God’s very watchful eye.

“And fish have a connection to a body of water,” he added. “We all came from water in our mother’s womb. Adam and Eve — even though they weren’t born of a mother — they were created by God with water. We came from earth mixed with water, which is why we will return to the earth.”

The rabbi and the rest of the congregation ate apples drizzled with honey and drank wine. Honey cake and sweet bars were also at the ceremony.

“The apples and honey symbolize a sweet year,” Muchnik said.

A full meal was offered afterward, back at Chabad of Oxnard.

Marianne Lavee, of Oxnard, who is visiting the Chabad congregation, said Rosh Hashana offers a chance for new beginnings.

“We cast away our sins and think of the year that has passed and how to better make improvements in our lives,” she said. “This is what goes through my mind as I hope for a better year ahead.”

Jadyn Davidson, of Oxnard, brought her granddaughter, Chanie Davidson, 12, to the Tashlich ceremony.

“For the new year, I’m hoping for peace in Israel, health for my family and friends and peace of mind,” Davidson said. “I love this ceremony. To me, it’s symbolic of getting rid of the old for the new year.”

The rabbi’s wife, Racheli Muchnik, said her hope for the new year is “the Messiah coming. We are ready for peace and world goodness.”

<p>ANTHONY PLASCENCIA/THE STAR</p><p>Sivan Reese (from left), Joy Epstein, Jadyn Davidson and Chanie Davidson read prayer books together during a Tashlich ceremony at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort in Oxnard on Monday.</p>Sivan Reese (from left), Joy Epstein, Jadyn Davidson and Chanie Davidson read prayer books together during a Tashlich ceremony at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort in Oxnard on Monday.

<p>ANTHONY PLASCENCIA/THE STAR</p><p>Marty Sasson, of Oxnard, and David Attar, of New Jersey, read together from a prayer book during a Tashlich ceremony at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort in Oxnard on Monday.</p>Marty Sasson, of Oxnard, and David Attar, of New Jersey, read together from a prayer book during a Tashlich ceremony at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort in Oxnard on Monday.

<p>ANTHONY PLASCENCIA/THE STAR</p><p>Rabbi Dov Muchnik, of Chabad of Oxnard, is joined by his children Chaya (left), 11, and Moti, 9, as he reads from a prayer book during a Tashlich ceremony at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort in Oxnard on Monday.</p>Rabbi Dov Muchnik, of Chabad of Oxnard, is joined by his children Chaya (left), 11, and Moti, 9, as he reads from a prayer book during a Tashlich ceremony at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort in Oxnard on Monday.

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