Everyone in encouraged to come to Queen Elizabeth Park on the afternoon of the first day of Rosh HaShana, September 25th, for Tashlich. This is a symbolic casting off of harmful behaviours, an opportunity for introspection, a chance to review our actions over the past year and consider which of them we’d be better off without in the future.
In the past, most of the synagogues in the city of Vancouver have gone to this general area for Tashlich services, which has made Rosh HaShana afternoon a lovely time for meeting friends from other congregations. It’s my understanding that this year some of those congregations have chosen to do Tashlich elsewhere, but some are still planning to come to Q.E. Park.
Ahavat Olam generally meets at the pond near the footbridge in the centre of the quarry area below and northwest of the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park. Here’s a Google Maps link that shows the approximate location: https://www.google.ca/maps/dir/49.2424607,-123.1147473/49.2424681,-firstname.lastname@example.org,-123.1155035,712m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m3!4m2!1m0!1m0. It’s accessible by footpaths from several directions.
We plan to go after our communal luncheon on Thursday afternoon, September 25th, around 4:00pm. We won’t be leading any kind of service but we can undertake a discussion of some of the meanings of Tashlich for anyone who wants to know.
Please note that we don’t encourage throwing bread crumbs or other foodstuffs or refuse into the water. This kind of literal “casting off”, while traditional in the past in some contexts, is harmful to other creatures and not suitable. (A few grains of dust from the pockets is probably fine…)