Help End The Kapparot Chicken-Swinging Ritual

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Originally Posted: 26 August 2009

Help End The Kapparot Chicken-Swinging Ritual

From United Poultry Concerns (UPC)

Take action to end the September 28, 2009 brutal cruelty toward thousands of chickens. Chickens are held by their legs or by pinning their bird’s wings backward and then are swung in the air. They are caged, brutalized and slaughtered.

CONTACT

Rabbi Moshe Kletenik, President
Rabbinical Council of America
305 Seventh Avenue, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10001
phone (212) 807-9000
fax (212) 727-8452
email and email
Find all RCA officers’ & administrators’ email addresses

If you are a member of the Orthodox faith, please contact:

Rabbi Jack Abramowitz
Associate Director of Synagogue Services
Orthodox Union
email

11 Broadway
New York, NY 10004
phone (212) 563-4000
fax (212) 613-0752
email

Rabbi David Zwiebel
Executive Vice President
Agudath Israel of America
42 Broadway
New York, NY 10004
phone (212) 797-7385
fax (646) 254-1650
Email

INFORMATION

Kapparot (kaparos), which means “atonements,” is a custom preceding Yom Kippur - the Jewish Day of Atonement - in which chickens are ritually sacrificed by many Orthodox Jews. The observer “swings” the chicken, held by the legs or by pinning the bird’s wings backward, around his or her head, while reciting a chant about transferring one’s sins symbolically onto the bird. The chicken is then slaughtered, and may or may not be given to the poor. Prior to the ceremony, the chickens are packed in crates, usually for days without food, water or shelter, and birds not used in the ritual have been found abandoned in their crates when the ceremony was over.

Most telling is the callous way practitioners stand around chatting while holding the chickens with their wings pinned painfully backward and their legs dangling, as if they were sacks of garbage instead of living creatures.

Kapparot is not required by the Torah or the Talmud. Most observers swing money for charity as a symbolic gesture. However, thousands of chickens are used each year for this purpose.


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