Tossing Sorries

Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, starts this evening at sunset. On this solemn holiday, Jews atone for their sins from the previous year and consider how to make the coming year better.

In the car earlier this week, Riley told us he threw challah into the lake at school to toss away his “sorries.” He said he told his teachers he was sorry for “hitting his brother in the butt.”

Riley does often hit Dylan in the butt, so it was a fitting apology.

Because I learn a lot about Judaism through my children, I can tell you that the tradition of “tashlich” involves symbolically casting off the sins of the previous year by tossing pieces of bread or another food into a body of flowing water.

It’s a beautiful ritual to be given the opportunity to dispose of your wrongdoings, wipe the slate clean, and begin anew without guilt or grudge. It’s kind of like eating the first meal after a colonoscopy.

Personally, I’d like to keep a small bucket of water next to my bed. I could toss some an entire loaf of bread into it every single night and sleep well. Perhaps it would be as effective as taking .5 mg of Clonazepam. (Perhaps.)

I’m sorry I spend too much money.

I’m sorry I don’t volunteer at school more.

I’m sorry I don’t drink enough water.

I’m sorry I didn’t go to the gym or for a run.

I’m sorry I complained about running errands all day when one of the errands was a pedicure. (Ugh. I’m really sorry about that one.)

I’m sorry I stopped paying attention to the news on Syria.

I’m sorry I didn’t take Harry on a walk.

I’m sorry I don’t care that one of our fish died.

I’m sorry I ate an entire bag of Skinny Pop.

I’m sorry I let a Bragging Mama make me feel bad.

I’m sorry I bribe my kids with toys.

I’m sorry I made macaroni & cheese for dinner. Again.

I’m sorry I made excuses to avoid playing Candy Land.

I’m sorry I yelled.

I’m sorry I said “no” a million times.

I’m sorry I didn’t floss my teeth.

“Dylan, what are sorry for this year?” I asked.

“I’m sorry Riley annoys me so much that I have to yell at him.”

At six years and nine months old, Dylan has mastered the art of the backhanded apology. This is either a proud parenting moment (he executed it brilliantly) or an epic parenting fail. Probably the latter.

My turn. “I’m sorry I lose my patience, especially with the two of you.”

“That’s okay, Mommy,” said Riley. My dear, sweet, squishy Riley.

Dylan added, “Yeah, you need to be more patient in the bathroom, Mommy.” Right. Geesh!


What would you toss in the water?


Filed under conversations to remember, Yom Kippur

25 responses to “Tossing Sorries

  1. champ91

    I would toss All my ‘”sorrys”‘ in the ocean: life is way too short:
    The “Big Guy” knows we are sorry before we do!


  2. I would toss the guilt I have into the water. To much guilt leads to too much drama and at my age the less drama the better.


  3. Well done! Nicely written and fun to read. And I’m sure you are being too hard on yourself with your list! 🙂
    What would I toss in the water? Hmm, the list stems mostly from a complicated decision I made this summer — to let my husband back into the house. All of my “sorries” since then have likely been the result of that one difficult decision!
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!


  4. Caro

    I would toss my ability to “not doing” and as a result i accumulate regrets.

    I would replace it il with action.


  5. Guilt rots the conscious. One can only be so sorry. Big toss for me.


  6. I enjoyed reading your lists of sorries.


  7. I could relate to all of them. Wish i thought of this before! 😀


  8. Tanya

    I would bake at least 10 loafs of bread and toss them in the lake. Why? Because I just got out of depression and I’m feeling a lot better about life. I want to start new, completely new. Adventure is out there!


  9. Having been raised in the tradition of having to go into a dark closet and talk to a man (in a long dress) through a screen to get clear of my sins, I love this (and other) Jewish rituals. It makes so much more sense to me. That being said, Jews and Catholics (especially Irish) are pretty neck and neck on this guilt thing. I wonder why?
    I do think this should be at least a monthly – maybe even weekly ritual!
    Nice piece.


  10. If you toss something into a body of water, hopefully you’ll see a reflection…of yourself.


  11. I share your sorries and one cacophonous one I stunned my children with this morning: I’m sorry I used every bad word I told you not to when the beep cut me off.


  12. Love this. One thing really nice about living in San Diego is tossing my sins in the Pacific Ocean! Seems ironic to toss my sins in such a beautiful setting.


  13. That is an entirely too long list of apologies or shortcomings. I do not wait a year, but relive them every forgiveness and try to move on with my life doing better the next time. Sometimes, I’m successful and sometimes…not so much.

    The symbolic throwing away of sins is an amazing tradition. How wonderful is that?

    May you not self-flagellate so much next year but know that He loves and forgives you day to day.

    Now, if we could only do better next time…helps to make the list shorter for next year.


  14. Daniel Angel from Cape Cornwall

    Sorry i didn’t comment sooner
    Sorry is a beautiful word
    It means you really care
    Everything that has brought me here
    I bring here with love to share
    Sorry has given me love
    And special friends who really care
    I have tomorrow to look forward to
    And lots of love to share

    ║║╔═╦╦╦═╗*. . *
    ║╚╣║║║║╩╣* Daniel angel from Cape Cornwall•*´¨`*•


  15. It is an interesting ritual to dispose of your wrongdoings but I would also add all the things I am grateful for at the end.


  16. I too used to tell my ‘sins’ to a man in a dress in a dark box, until it occurred to me that it was way harder, but better, to look into the eyes of one we may have hurt, and tell them, sincerely: ‘I’m sorry’. ‘Tossing sorries’ was interesting, though, since perhaps such rituals can eventually lead to more authentic or personal acts of sorrow….


  17. I’d toss all my regrets in the water. Reminds me of a holiday down in Cornwall where we were encouraged to help build a stone cross on the sand…as the tide came in it washed away every thought we had as we placed a stone at the cross. An illness, a loss, a regret, a sadness…..I know we are talking about a different faith here but are we so different. Lovely post:-) I’ll toss a sorry today!


  18. nearlynormalized

    What would I toss in the water? Hate, it has ruined our souls.


  19. Very well written 🙂


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