Statements By Rabbis Against the Use of Chickens for Kapparot
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos
July 2017

Statements by Rabbis Against the Use of Chickens for Kapparot

Rabbi Shlomo Goren, Former Chief Rabbi of Israel
“Kapparot is not consistent with Jewish teachings and law. Repentance and charity can be better accomplished by using money instead of a slaughtered chicken.”

Rabbi Yitzchock Kaduri zt’’l, Renowned Sephardic Kabbalist
“It is best to give a donation to the less fortunate to Atone for sins, in lieu of the Tzaar Baalei Haim which is a sin in the Torah, and because of the high potential for breach of Kashrut that arises from (improper) Shechita of the chickens from Kapparot.”

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Ateret Yerushalayim
"Since this [Kapparot] is not a clear duty but rather a tradition, and in the light of the kashrut problems and cruelty to animals…it is recommended that one should prefer to conduct the atonement ceremony with money, thus also fulfilling the great mitzvah of helping poor people."

Rabbi Chaim David Halevi, Former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv-Jaffa
“Why should we, specifically on the eve of the holy day of Yom Kippur, be cruel to animals for no reason, and slaughter them without mercy, just as we are about to request the same compassion ourselves from the living God.” (Assa Lecha Rav, Part III)

Rabbi David Rosen, Former Chief Rabbi of Ireland
"Beyond the objections…of the Ramban, Rashba and the Bet Yosef to the custom of 'kapparot,' and beyond the warnings of rabbinic authorities such as the Chayei Adam, Kaf HaChaim, Aruch HaShulchan and the Mishanah Brurah regarding the halachic infringements involved in using live fowl for this custom, the latter also desecrates the prohibition against ‘tzaar baalei chayim.’ Those who wish to fulfill this custom can do so fully and indeed in a far more halachically acceptable manner by using money as a substitute.”

Rabbi David Lau, Current Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel
“I am turning to those accustomed to…doing Kapparot with an animal to remind them of the holy obligation that exists throughout the year to refrain from causing suffering to animals, to prevent any unnecessary pain and suffering to animals… My prayer is that we will be able to fulfill [the precept that] anyone who is merciful toward God’s creations will himself merit the mercy of He Who Dwells on High.”

Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum
Reviewing the entire current Kapparot situation, using alternatives to chickens such as money to tzedakah, might be the desirable option.”

Rabbi Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach zt’’l
Towards the end of his life Rabbi Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach began to do kapparot with money instead of chickens after he came to the conclusion that the use of chickens conflicted with the Torah’s prohibition on causing unnecessary pain and suffering to animals.

chickens as kaporos

chickens as kaporos

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