Rosh Hashanah
(First Day)
Genesis 21

You, {G-d} will cast all of their {Yisroel's} sins

into the depths of the sea ©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of the Holy Days is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. Paul Sakash, may he rest in peace.

For many years now during the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah... the Festival of Trumpets... i.e., the Festival of the Blowing of the Shofar... the Birthday of the World... the Day of Judgment... I have walked to a live body of water, one that has fish, a creek... a stream... a river... a lake... a reservoir... to observe the Tashlich Prayer, meaning "You {G-d} will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea," Micah 7:19. The prayer of Tashlich is not required by the Torah. It developed as a custom during medieval times. Chidah, Rabbi Hayyim Joseph David Azulai (1724 -1806), contributed the optional "Prayer for Livelihood" and "Additional Supplications" hundreds of years after the custom began.

For years during Tashlich I had intended to discuss the statement from Tenach mentioned in the opening sentence "You, {G-d} will cast all of their sins into the depths of the sea" but for one reason or another didn't do it. Then in the early hours {3:30 am} of Shabbos Nitzavim - Vayeilech I was awakened and could not return to sleep. The room was very cold with fresh mountain air. The bedroom window was open and the ceiling fan was on low. (Later I learned the outside temperature was between 36 and 40 degrees.) I lay in bed thinking about Rosh Hashanah. My mind revisited the story of Avraham and Sarah. Thoughts began to develop around Sarah's instruction to Avraham regarding the Torah Paw Sookim in Genesis 21:8,9 "Sarah saw the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Avraham mocking. So she said to Avraham, 'Drive out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit with my son, Yitzchok!'" Stimulated by this thought I arose to study the Midrash surrounding it. In our home we have a place established where one can read or study under light throughout the night during Shabbosim and Yom Tovim. I decided to first review this Paw Sook in my Rosh Hashanah Artscroll Machzor. While refamiliarizing myself with the machzor I remembered how for years I had intended to discuss the basis for Tashlich, "You {G-d} will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea". Then I realized Sarah's instruction to Avraham was the lure for the early morning opportunity to study and later discuss Tashlich.

The desire to discuss this subject has been building for almost a decade as I am very familiar with the content through other areas of related research. The intention to discuss this began with hearing the comment, "Our sins are thrown into the sea of forgetfulness" by a Christian / Messianic and other such comments like, "Jesus C. buried our sins in the sea of forgetfulness never to be remembered again."

Now was my opportunity to assemble years of research. I began reviewing until 6:15 a.m. which is time for Shabbos morning prayers. After kiddush I continued until Mincha time. It was good to review this subject. Such review usually leads to other spinoffs for another study. In this case, the review did lead to spinoffs some of which I have included, making this parsha study a little longer.

After hours of studying this subject there were several points very clear:

Nowhere in the New Testament does it say anything to the effect of "Our sins are thrown into the sea of forgetfulness" or "Jesus C. buried our sins in the sea of forgetfulness never to be remembered again."

In the New Testament, Hebrews 8:12 and 10:17 are two passages which are an adaptation from Tenach, Jeremiah 31:33, (in non Jewish Bibles Jeremiah 31:34)

"They will no longer teach - each man his fellow, each man his brother - saying 'Know Hashem!' For all of them will know Me, from their smallest to their greatest - the word of Hashem - when I will forgive their iniquity and no longer recall their sin."

Now we divert to a spinoff...
One of these passages discusses what Christians / Messianics have mistakenly thought to mean "NEW TORAH," that is, NEW LAW. From there they have continued on this path of error to insist that the New Testament is the new covenant. This is ludicrous! Why?

Nowhere in the Tenach does it say or imply that the Torah will be concluded or done away with. In fact all that is said in Jeremiah is that Hashem will make a new covenant with His people, the Jewish people. Unfortunately, many have misunderstood this to mean that a new Torah would be created. This is entirely FALSE! That being the case, let me explain what was intended by Jeremiah.

The newness is only in reference to the observance of the Torah. The Torah given at Har Sinai is not intuitively known or understood by us, the Jewish people. It was taught to Kal Yisroel by Moshe, then Joshua, then the Elders of Yisroel, then the Prophets of Yisroel and the men of the Great Assembly. The new covenant with the same exact message will be taught to each individual Jew by G-d alone. The Torah that Hashem gave at Har Sinai will be written into our hearts. We will never forget one single letter, word or obligation. It will be easy for us to follow because we will intuitively understand it and know what is intended! This is the new covenant.

Divert to a spinoff of a spinoff...
There are many such misunderstandings in the New Testament writings of Hebrews. Another one of glaring ignorance is the suggestion that Jesus C is the High Priest of the new covenant. This is an utter impossibility for many reasons. One such reason is that the Kohen Godal, the High Priest, can only be a descendant of the family of Levi, of Aaron, of Zadock in accordance with Hashem's instruction recorded in the Torah. According to New Testament records in Matthew Chapter 1, Jesus is not a descendant of Levi. The second New Testament record is found in Luke Chapter 3 which again fails to connect Jesus to the house of Levi.

Spinoff of the spinoff of the spinoff...
As a matter of fact a simple study of the genealogy of Jesus will reveal several important facts:

There are two genealogies and they differ. According to the Pulpit Commentary , the differences in the genealogies require a "SOLUTION". "This solution of the differences between the two lists was apparently first suggested by Annius of Viterbo, at the close of the fifteenth century." He suggested that Matthew's genealogy is that of Mary, Jesus' mother, and Luke's genealogy is that of Joseph. However there is zero evidence to support this! But, for the sake of argument, if you accept this as a solution many other very valid challenges still exist. For example:

Luke's genealogy can be ONLY that of Joseph. Unlike Matthew's genealogy which lists Mary and Joseph, Luke's genealogy does not include Mary. As a result, notice that Jesus is a descendant of King David through Nathan....NOT SOLOMON. Why is this a problem?

{Dovid Ha Melech speaking} "And of all my sons, (for Hashem has given me many sons,) he has chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of Hashem over Israel. And He {i.e. Hashem} said unto me , Solomon your son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. Moreover I will establish his kingdom forever..."

The problem is that Dovid Ha Melech's kingdom is not established through Solomon in the genealogy of Luke which is ascribed to Joseph because Joseph is a descendant of David's son Nathan. Now if you argue that it doesn't matter because Joseph was only Jesus' stepfather then that would also eliminate him from any consideration because the successor MUST BE from the seed of David through his son Solomon!

Now, returning to the point at hand. Not only does the New Testament not say anything to the effect of "Our sins are thrown into the sea of forgetfulness" or "Jesus C. buried our sins in the sea of forgetfulness never to be remembered again," it attempts to dissolve the Tenach from which it draws all references on this issue. So on the one hand Christian Messianics, using the New Testament Book of Hebrews, make the claim that the Tenach ("The Old Testament") is obsolete and aging and will soon disappear, and on the other hand they attempt to support their beliefs by drawing from their own self serving adaptation of Jewish Scripture which was never intended or given to anyone but Kal Yisroel.

Now the concluding point is that Hashem did promise Kal Yisroel and no one else that He would cast all of their sins into the depths of the sea as recorded in Tenach, Micah 7:19. That is a promise to the descendants of Yaakov.

The point is that it is the Jewish people who observe Rosh Hashanah as instructed in the Torah. It is the Jews who blow the trumpets on Rosh Hashanah in remembrance of the Creation of the world. It is the descendants of Yisroel that walk to the water's edge, pick up a stone and sling it to the greatest distance possible while remembering Hashem's promise that He {Hashem} will cast all of their (Yisroel's} sins into the depths of the sea. To draw a different conclusion is an utter misconstruction of Jewish Scripture.

Returning to Sarah's instruction to Avraham, consider "...Drive out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit with my son, Yitzchok." Christian / Messianics who befriend Jews with another agenda in mind are like Yishmael who shot arrows at Yitzchok in mockery. They try to establish a degree of compatibility with Judaism one way or another. They live among us like Hagar and Yishmael. For example, they state that their beliefs come from Judaism and to a degree this is true. Yet, like Yishmael, they follow a pattern of attacking the Jewish soul with their doctrines and mistaken beliefs.

Rosh Hashanah is the day of reflection and judgment for the creatures of this world. Just as Sarah observed what was happening and chose to separate Yitzchok from potential danger and to secure his father's inheritance for him, so we need to observe the present dangers of other religious interests / ideologies and separate from them. Our inheritance is threatened at home in Eretz Yisroel with land for peace schemes and abroad with assimilation, non Jewish relationships, etc...

Today's parsha teaches Jews to be concerned with these dangers and to develop an attitude of separating to protect the future of our heritage.

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

Weekly Studies

JewishPath is a sponsor of B'nai Noach Torah Institute. As a sponsor we are permitted to offer one FREE E-Mail course on a limited basis per individual from BNTI's Introduction Courses. We invite you to visit and choose an E - Mail Intro Course. BNTI offers Intro Courses in Judaism and Spirituality {7 Noaich Laws}. BNTI Responses are NOT AUTO!!

B'nai Noach Torah Institute offers dozens of tuition e - mail courses. Please visit BNTI's Tuition Courses page.
For Jewish Classmates: Gematria, Parsha, Tehillim, Medos, High Holidays and many more...
For Spiritualist Classmates: Bereishis, Torah, Blessings, Intro. Hebrew and many more...

B'nai Noach Torah Institute

Colorado Jewish Community Directory

  Study The Seven Noach Commandments

The Learning Store 
Weekly Parsha 


  High Holy Days

Messianic Refute


 Other Links

 Jewish Links



  Torah Or Bust!

 Membership at J P

  Support J P

 About J P

  E - Mail J P


Search JewishPath

JewishPath Search is for Active JewishPath Membership and Tuition Classmates at BNTI only.