Yom Kippur Orthodox
October 7, 2011 by staff
Yom Kippur Orthodox, Now, some rabbis are decrying the practice as animal abuse. These rabbis say the ritual, along with the cruel conditions of the chickens are kept, it violates Jewish law, which has strict rules on the care and slaughter of animals.
Rabbi Meir Hirsch began to have doubts about the practice, known as kapparot, or atonement in Hebrew, when he realized endangered chickens clucking in plastic cages near his home.
Butchers’ bring the chickens on the farm at night, and spend all day in the sun without food or water,”said Hirsch, Neturei Karta member of the ultra-orthodox sect of Jerusalem. “You can not make an order committing a sin.”
The tradition goes back at least 800 years and calls on believers to wave three times a live chicken over their heads before the arrival of Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism, which begins tonight at sundown. After slaughter, religious Jews often donate the meat to charity.
The Jewish leaders in Israel and the United States have called for an end to the practice for years, but the leaders of the insular ultra-Orthodox communities have resisted.
The controversy dates back to centuries. Rabbi Yosef Karo, one of the main coders of Jewish law, a practice called it “stupid,”reminiscent of pagan practices. Since the pronouncement of the 16th century, Sephardic Jews, or Middle Eastern origin have kaparot tended to make non-animal, sometimes bags of coins dangling over their heads before giving the money to charity.
The following Ashkenazi, or European customs have continued to use chickens.
Hirsch said he now waves a bill and 10 above his head instead of a chicken. Calls for reform are spreading to other streams of Orthodoxy.
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