This is an article from the October 2, 1962 edition of the Israel newspaper, HaTzofeh, reporting on the Tashlich ceremony that took place in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. The article states that approximately 18,000 Jews participated in the ceremony along with Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the leader of the Chabad movement. The group was given permission to use the park, which is a public institution, by its director, since going to another location would have been a longer walk and thus difficult for many elderly people.
Tashlich is performed on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, a day on which observant Jews do not drive. It takes place next to a body of water, which is scarce in a large urban centre such as Brooklyn. The Chabad/Lubavitch headquarters are located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn in New York.
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Tashlich – Tashlich is a ceremony in which one symbolically tosses one’s sins into a body of water, which takes place on the first day of Rosh Hashanah. The source of the custom can be found in Micah 7:19, “He will take us back in love; He will cover up our iniquities. You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” The ceremony consists of reciting prayers asking for God’s mercy. Some people have the tradition of throwing pieces of bread, as representations of their sins, into the water; others forbid this practice, seeing it as superstitious. If the first day of Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbat, Ashkenazi Jews perform Tashlich on the second day. Tashlich can be performed until Hoshana Raba at the end of the festival of Sukkot. The custom of Tashlich was developed around the thirteenth century and has been debated by rabbis ever since. Objections include the fear that people will simply throw bread into the water as a way of ridding themselves of sins without actually doing teshuva (atonement), which requires people to be introspective about their past behavior and commit to changing in the future.
Chabad – Chabad is an acronym which stands for Chochmah, Binah, and Daat (wisdom, comprehension, and knowledge) and is the organization of the Lubavitch sect of Hasidism. The word “Lubavitch” comes from the name of the town in Russia where the movement was based. In keeping with Hasidic tradition, Chabad-Lubavitch was led by a rabbinic dynasty that began with Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745–1812), who wrote the Tanya which is a foundational text for the movement. The last Lubavitcher Rebbe was Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902–1994). Rabbi Schneerson, known simply as the Rebbe, instituted an outreach movement that placed rabbinic representatives, shluchim, and their families in communities around the world, with the aim of helping Jews to learn about and perform mitzvot. There are currently around 5,000 shluchim in over 100 countries, with Chabad headquarters in the United States and Israel.
HaTzofeh - HaTzofeh was the newspaper of the Mizrachi movement and the National Religious Party (NRP). Mizrachi was the religious-Zionist movement that was founded in 1902; the NRP was its political party. HaTzofeh began publishing in 1937 and ran as the NRP’s newspaper until 2003. Like other newspapers that belonged to political parties, HaTzofeh reflected the philosophy of the movement. In 2003 the newspaper was sold to private investors and, although it retained much of the political outlook of the NRP, it was no longer officially associated with the party. HaTzofeh later merged with the newspaper Makor Rishon.