What can I say, other than IT’S ABOUT TIME!

Look, I don’t love chicken, but I eat it, so maybe I shouldn’t be preaching here. However, the idea of kapparot has always struck me as a part of Judaism that would be best left to the days when animal sacrifices were made by Jews. Kapparot, of course, is the medieval custom of swinging a bird over one’s head just before we atone on Yom Kippur. The poor bird is the scape-chicken and after we swing it over our heads (I have personally never done this), it is slaughtered. Talk about adding insult to injury.

This year, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, a prominent scholar in Israel, has issued a letter and video opposing the custom on the basis of cruelty to animals.

Enough said. Instead of swinging a chicken over your head, take some money and give it to a worthy cause.

Gmar chatima tova.

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  • If you’re going to kill it anyway, who the f*** cares if you twirl it over your head first. Animal Rights people have truly proven they’re no smarter than the animals they try to protect. And who the hell are they or you or I to change centuries of tradition? Progressivism = regression.

    • For once I agree with Alex. I don’t eat meat and I find it curious that folks who DO eat meat are all bothered about some chickens. It’s true that the chickens tend to sit around in cramped cages for hours waiting to be slaughtered for kaparot. In Jerusalem, they are now kept in the shade at least. But what difference is there in the ordinary slaughtering process and the kaparot slaughtering process? Very, very little. The more compelling arguments against kaparot are found in the cited Jerusalem Post article – that there is no real religious basis for the whole process and whatever little added discomfort the chickens feel is simply unnecessary. As a vegetarian I still did kaparot because I’d then give the chicken to poor people to eat. This year I may very well choose to just give charity instead.

    • Regression is what is going on with the custom of kapparot. It’s encouraging that a respected rabbi is moving to end this abysmal treatment of the chickens.

      As for how animals are raised and slaughtered for human consumption, that is a related topic if only because as we’ve learned in the past couple of years, kosher slaughter can be permissive of behavior that causes animals undue pain. However, there are methods of killing animals that forego or heavily minimize the animal’s discomfort, just as there are animal growers who raise the animals in humane ways. There is one kosher company, the name escapes me right now but I’ve written about them before, that grows and slaughters their animals in humane ways. They sell their products at some Whole Foods stores.