UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon took part in a Tashlich ceremony at the UN Monday evening, along with UN ambassadors from over 10 countries. Dozens of Jewish community leaders, dignitaries and diplomats took part in the ceremony, the first of its kind ever held at the UN.
The event was organized by the Israeli mission at the UN, in partnership with the Forum for Cultural Diplomacy, and was attended by envoys from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Ireland, Palau, Norway and the Ukraine. It is the culmination of a campaign that earned the Jewish high holiday recognition as an official holiday on the UN calendar for the first time last year.
“We are here today to participate in a unique tradition – Tashlich, which literally means to toss. It’s an opportunity to symbolically cast off the sins of the past and let the flowing water carry away the shortcomings of the previous year,” Outgoing Israeli Ambassador Prosor told the crowd.
“As we mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations this is an opportunity to reflect off this institution where it has fallen short and where we have not done enough to alleviate human suffering. 70 years on, it is time for voices of reason, of tolerance and moderation to reclaim the public space.”
The ceremony was conducted at a spot in the UN's Rose Garden overlooking the East River, by Rabbi Arthur Schneier of the Park East Synagogue.
“The fact that we are gathering here at the UN shows the respect that the United Nations has for all faiths, their holidays and for their stress on human dignity,” the rabbi said. “Day of Atonement means to be at one – at one with God and one with man.”