"Members of the community sat in a circle with separate bowls of salty water and fresh, sweet water scattered around the circle. They sang 'Purify our hearts to serve You in truth.' Using pens of water-soluble ink, each one of them wrote on a slip of paper the words, thoughts, actions that were their worst misdeeds of the previous year. They took time to think this through, each addressing his or her own misdeeds.

"Whenever they were ready, each one said or chanted 'You shall cast all their sins into the depths of the sea,' and plunged the papers into the bowls of water. They sat, watching the words dissolve.

"After they had fully experienced the dissolution of their misdeeds, they turned to the bowls of fresh water. As a way of showing that each one accepted that all the others had confronted themselves and taken responsibility to change their lives, each person used a cup to pour water from this bowl over the hands of the next person in the circle. Then each one lovingly dried that person's hands. Together all sang 'May the One Who makes ultimate harmony in the universe make harmony among us and among all Israel.' And thus the community felt that it had taken a long step toward both repentance and forgiveness."