Protesters Try to Stop Kaporos in Crown Heights
A small but determined group of demonstrators gathered at Eastern Parkway and Kingston Avenue in Crown Heights yesterday to protest the Kaporos ceremonies that take place in Orthodox Jewish communities the week before Yom Kippur.
The ritual requires that the chickens be held by their wings and swung three times in small circles over the heads of family members while a prayer is read aloud.
Kaporos is Hebrew for “atonement.” The sins of the celebrant are symbolically transferred onto the chicken, and after the ceremony, the chicken is slaughtered and either eaten or donated to a food bank. The public rituals usually take place in the two days leading up to Yom Kippur.
Technically, Kaporos doesn’t require chickens. “They could be swinging money or anything,” Karen Davis, the founder of Alliance To End Chickens As Kaporos said. “It makes Judaism look ridiculous.”
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