The Environmental Protection Ministry on Tuesday called on religious Jews to donate money instead of performing the kapparot ceremony with live chickens in the run-up to Yom Kippur, which kicks off this Wednesday evening.
The ritual involves reciting prayers while rotating a living chicken around its head three times, in order to transfer its sins to the chicken before Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. The chicken is then slaughtered and given to the poor. Traditionally, donations of money can replace the chicken in the rite, and many Jewish groups have encouraged this method.
“Most of the community members who practice the kapparot tradition today do so by donating money to charity for the poor,” said Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg, activist long standing for animal rights.
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“Rabbis have also spoken out over the years against this practice, which involves great animal suffering, and charitable donations turn the mitzvah into something even greater. “
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