The concept of releasing sins and karma are empowerment of the soul and self. Making a ritual of letting go, admitting mistakes, and making amends gives one freedom. The concept of writing sins and placing into water was introduced to a secular audience in Northern Exposure ages ago.
In Judaism, Prophet Nehemiah (8:1) states, “All the Jews gathered as one in the street that is in front of the gate of water.”
The custom may draw from:
- Abraham’s trip to sacrifice his son, Isaac, which took place on Rosh Hashanah. On the journey Satan tried several times to undermine Abraham’s progress- a river materialized and blocked Abraham’s path. Abraham at the point where the water reached his neck prayed to G‑d and the river dried up.
- Rosh Hashanah is the day when the Jews coronate G‑d as King of the Universe. Jewish kings are anointed next to rivers.
- G‑d’s mercy in preventing the waters from flooding the dry land. The realization of G‑d’s omnipotence inspires us to repent. Jewish mysticism teaches that water corresponds to the attribute of kindness.
- Water with fish is optimal. Fish are not subject to the “evil eye” and have many offspring. Fish eyes are always open like an ever aware G-d.
May we all shake ourselves from sin and be signed and sealed in the Book of Life for a good and sweet new year.