The Custom of
I recently was
in Bombay for the high holidays last year. I have a question
regarding the practice of Tashlich for the Baghdadi community
there. As I observed, the congregation went to the gateway
of India and recited the appropriate prayers, then the Hazan
waved a white handkerchief in the air rather than the typical
emptying of one's pockets using breadcrumbs. My question is,
where does this practice originate? What was the practice
back in Baghdad?
I am currently
writing an MA thesis on the full High Holidays practices of
the Bene Israel and Baghdadi Jews in Bombay, so any information
you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Reply by Dr
has forwarded your query.
From what I understand
about the Baghdad tradition in India: our custom is not to
throw breadcrumbs as we follow the opinion that we may not
feed the fish in the sea on Yom Tob. Many Hassidim are of
the same opinion and do not do it either.
Also, I understand
that we would simply wave the bottom of the jacket (near the
front, where the pockets are) symbolically, but without actually
emptying them out.
I have not heard
about the custom regarding the handkerchief.
I hope this is
With very best
wishes for the New Year
Dr Sara Manasseh
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