Groups Protest Use Of Chickens In Hasidic Jewish Ritual Called Kaporos

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Protestors are rallying against what they call the cruel treatment of chickens that happens in a ritual ahead of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

The tradition dates back at least 800 years and calls for believers to wave a live chicken three times over their heads ahead of the arrival of Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day, which begins at sundown Friday. After slaughter, religious Jews often donate the meat to charity.

Jewish leaders across Israel and the United States have called for an end to the practice for years, but leaders of insular ultra-Orthodox communities have been resistant.

The controversy surrounding the practice stretches back centuries.

Karen Davis, the president of United Poultry Concerns which advocates the humane treatment of chickens, turkeys, ducks and other domestic fowl, is against the custom.

“Rituals practiced by Hasidic Jewish communities where they swing the birds over their head and then slitting their throats, often putting them in garbage cans, putting them in dumpsters,” said Davis.

That’s also why the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos have held a series of protests against the use of chickens during the ritual.

The protests were held earlier this week in Midwood, Williamsburg and Crown Heights.

Watch a video of one of the demonstrations below:

There are many Jewish communities however, that don’t use chickens for Kaporos. Instead, they swing a bag of coins to represent the chicken while saying prayers, something the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos endorses.

“There is a perfectly acceptable Kaporos practice that not only avoids animal cruelty, but can help reduce hunger and show compassion to all,” the Alliance said in a statement. “The chickens need mercy from us. We ask Kaporos observers to show mercy and use money instead of chickens.”

Menachem Friedman, an expert on Jewish religious society in Israel, said replacing chickens with donations to charity is a rising trend around the world.

“There is also a very accepted custom in synagogues, that in the afternoon, people bring their money for Kaparot, and everyone chooses the charity he wants to support,” he said.

For more information about the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos, click here.

To find out more about the United Poultry Concerns, click here.

Should the practice of using chickens as Kaporos be banned? Sound off below in our comments section…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. abdul malik says:

    Watotalshocketseprotesagainsjewfoonlcosteitothavyouvalubunotoforceitootherrafromycountrbecuassomefrcethievaluomiwashocketsthsamthinher

  2. Shlomo says:

    The truth is There is nothing illegal with Kaporos Chickens, if there was Animal Cruelty or cruelty the way chickens are slaughtered or the way the chickens are treated, this would have been outlawed many, many years ago.
    Also these chickens are killed more humanly then all the Purdue chickens and the chickens at Kentucky fried chickens, also these chickens are distributed to those in need of food, or to those that cannot afford food either families or individually!

  3. Karen Davis says:

    On behalf of the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos, thank you very much, John Montone, for courageously covering our objections to the use of chickens in kaporos rituals. To clarify a point for readers & listeners: while forcing the chickens to sit for hours and days stuffed in transport crates without food, water or shelter is not an intrinsic part of the ritual, the fact is, this is how these birds are treated by the practitioners. The mistreatment and the attitude that accompanies it is part of the entire chicken kaporos process. The chickens exist in the ritual as symbolic recipients of the sins and punishment of the practitioners. This status encourages the harsh and pitiless treatment the chickens receive through all phases of the ritual including before and after it, when crates filled with chickens are callously abandoned. Practitioners show, and express in discussions, a deep alienation from the birds and an animus toward nonhuman animal life in general. The attitude is unsympathetic to the suffering of the birds and even kind of proud of causing it. This does not seem spiritual in any positive sense.

    1. Shlomo says:

      The use of Chickens for Kaoaros is %100 Legal, if there was Animal Cruelty this would have been outllawd along time and the truth is that these chickes go to ppor peple and poor families that cannot afford to purchase food.

      1. Alana Roberts says:

        you are wrong, these bird are then dumped on the street and in overfilled dumpsters where their flesh rots until the putrid smell is strong enough to knock you out. They are considered un-kosher as they are so abused and therefore inedible. Even if they were in fact donated there is no need for such cruel treatment before they die. It is amazing how you an ignore that side of the argument so completely.

        1. Shlomo Abutbul says:

          ” these bird are then dumped on the street and in overfilled dumpsters where their flesh rots until the putrid smell is strong enough to knock you out.”
          If this is true the FDA would have outlawed Kapros along time ago, but since this is NOT true, Kaporos is %100 legal.

          “there is no need for such cruel treatment before they die.”

          If there was cruel treatment, the ASPCA would have gotten Kaporos operations banned along time ago, but since the way the Chikens are humanly treated before they die then Kaproos is %100 legal.

          Alana, this you versus the American Law, places that operate Kaporos are following the laws %100.

  4. EasterBunny says:

    jews (another word for snooze)

  5. Jose Reynaldo says:

    These protestors are gutless and spineless, withouit intellectual credibility. If they had any integrity they would go to the hispanic communities and protest santeria, who kill chckens and goats with regularity in their sacrifice rituals.

    1. Chango Ache says:

      Now how did I know that some spineless fool would take this opportunity to attack MY Religion!!! The Supreme court case of City of Hialeah v Chuirch of Lukumi of Baba Lu Aye, has give “Santeros” the right to practice our Religion freely, but that doesnt stop people like this guy, from bashing Us… We treat all animals used in sacrifice very Humanely because we know nosey bodies like you, call the police to interupt our Initaition and other Sacred ceremonies… What you dont know is that most of the times the Police come in, check that the animals have food and water, and leave…
      The use of animals in religious ceremonies is thousands of years old, and no animal rights group or other busy bodies are going to stop it… I agree with Shlomo above, animals used in religious ceremonies are treated 1000 times more humanely than how they are treated in the slaughter houses in every major city in the world… You folks need to get a life and start protesting something you actually have a say in, like how to impact/reduce the carbon foot prints everyone is leaving on mother Earth…

  6. Tyrone says:

    The fact that it’s a ritual that only dates back 800 years tells you that it has nothing to do with Judaism. Hence stopping the practice has nothing to do with Judaism.

  7. jay Pee says:

    B*STARDS!

  8. MB-Brooklyn says:

    Witnessing this the other night, I was horrified to hear the cries, smell the blood and feces and see them being swung around. Children going into the tent were horrified, held their noses and clearly wanted out.

    In addition to the blatant animal cruelty of depriving these birds of food and water and swinging them high in the air, pinning their wings back, contorting them- by the way, participants seemed to revel in the torture)- how can this be approved by the Board of Health?

    This practice needs to be outlawed and replaced with money bags.

  9. Andy says:

    backward. Dark Ages. plain stupid. silly. childish. cruel.

  10. Dan says:

    The Christian practice of lighting christmas tree candles is dangerous and can lead to many deaths if the house burns down. Christmas candles should be outlawed! The Alliance to ban Christmas candles

  11. Rina Deych says:

    Most Jews do not use chickens in the ritual of Kaporos. The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos encourages the use of money, instead of chickens, in this custom.
    The ritual is not mandated in the Torah or Talmud, but was adopted by some sects during the Middle Ages. Many great sages have spoken out against the practice. There is a growing sentiment within the orthodox community that the use of money, instead of chickens, should be promoted.
    I have followed this issue for two decades. Through the years, in my Boro Park neighborhood alone, I have found chickens discarded in garbage bags and dumpsters, left to rot and putrify. Of the few slaughtered birds who are donated by some of the groups, many are actually treif (unkosher) because they have wounds from being packed tightly in the crates and broken wings from being swung. These are broiler birds, whose bodies are bred too heavy to be supported by their wings. Swinging them in this fashion violates tsa’ar ba’alei chaim, the Jewish mandate not to cause harm to animals.
    The practice is outdated and cruel and needs to be cast into the dustbin of history.
    Shana Tova V’Metuka,
    Rina Deych, RN
    Member
    Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos
    http://www.endchickensaskaporos.com/

    1. Shlomo says:

      Most Jews, don’t practice Judaism, and most Jews don’t even keep Shabbat or the Sabbath, most Jews don’t go to Synagogue on the Sabbath, most Jews don’t even keep Kosher, so why would Most Jews who doesn’t practice Judaism, observe Kaproros?! The answer is just like most Jews don’t keep Kosher or keep Shabat don’t keep Kaporos!

  12. NYGirl says:

    Just another heinous religious freak show. If the Hasidic Jews think that GOD wants them to swing a chicken by the neck and then slit it’s throat than the GOD that they pray to would be a sick GOD to me. “Thou shall not kill” should resonate in these people’s mind. They’re are plenty of chickens being killed on a daily basis and no shortage of them in the supermarkets. Have some mercy on all living things that GOD created or no mercy shall be given to you.

  13. Rina Deych says:

    Most Jews do not use chickens in the ritual of Kaporos. The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos encourages the use of money, instead of chickens, in this custom.
    The ritual is not mandated in the Torah or Talmud, but was adopted by some sects during the Middle Ages. Many great sages have spoken out against the practice. There is a growing sentiment within the orthodox community that the use of money, instead of chickens, should be promoted.
    A photo-journalist who came out to Williamsburg to cover our demo informed me that newspapers she’s approached have not agreed to cover the story because it is too controversial. Kudos to Mr. Montone for having the courage to present it!
    Rina Deych, RN
    Member
    Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos
    http://www.endchickensaskaporos.com/

  14. nyc says:

    Rather than transferring their sins to a chicken, perhaps they should not commit those sins in the first place. Why does the innocent animal deserve to suffer for someone else’s sins. Even worse, after it takes the blame for their actions, they kill it. Way to treat something with respect. If you want to be respected, be respectable.

    1. Don Juan says:

      Let him who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. John 8:8

      1. Jeebus says:

        Let him who be shortin a ho be capped by my nine. K’andre’ 4:20

  15. Hannah says:

    Hey, i am not Hassidic but I went to Kapparot. Non religious were also there.

  16. C.J. says:

    Shouldn’t this be considered a form of Santeria?

  17. skyline says:

    It’s not animal cruelty if you are a jew! But if you are a non-jew, it is considered to be uncivilized.

  18. Frank B. says:

    These hipsters should mind their own business and respect other people’s religious beliefs.

    There’s another protest going on, with actual importance. Why are they wasting their time on this?

    1. Daniel S. Toma says:

      Amen!

    2. Tia Foster says:

      Hipsters? The group was mainly comprised of a lot of older Jewish women. I think there was only one guy there who dressed like a hipster but so what? This is of importance. These animals are suffering. Have some compassion.

  19. sk says:

    the protesters should really find out more about the practice of Kapparot and why orthodox jews do it before protetsing. Itt s not just done among the chasidic groups. there are orthodox synaogogues throughout the New york state that have been doing this tradition that goes back hundreds of years. Do these activists ever question the treatment of animals before they are sold in a supermarket?

  20. al says:

    The Jewish people treat these chickens more humanely than some groups in NY treat their kids..

    1. Tia Foster says:

      This kind of comment is lame. Come on, really?

  21. sam g says:

    This article is very misleading to the actual ritual. They dont actually believe that the chicken gets their sins. Rather its merely a symbolic way to arouse them to repent. Now it goes without saying that animal cruelty is wrong and indeed a sin in judaism. Certainly even hasidic jews would readily agree with that. Even ultra-orthodox rabbis have protested against places that leave the chickens out in the sun in cages without food or water. But it doesn’t mean that every hasidic jew is doing that. Just because this group says it doesn’t mean that’s what’s going on. Their most probably vegetarians and against all types of animal consumption. Just because they are doesn’t mean every one else has to be one too. Of course if you don’t practice or believe in the whole ritual, then maybe you’d be against it because you think its killing an animal for no reason. But hasidic jews do believe in it. So its no different then eating a hotdog or hamburger which is alsokilled for consumption. A slaughterhouse also isn’t neccesary the prettiest sight in the world but I don’t see anyone (normal) protesting outside of them.

  22. Ellen says:

    I don’t care what religion you belong to because it seems to me that ultra conservatives no matter if they be Christians, Jews, or Muslims are rather stuck in the 13th century to begin with.

  23. Surfin Bird says:

    this is animal cruelty

  24. Leonardo Benzant says:

    the Jews need to keep their filthy chickens or eat them after they clean off with them in a Kaproros, we don’t need that spritiual junk that is transfered onto the chicken, and everybody talkin’ that junk about animal rights shut the F__K up, you don’t understand why some culture have to do what they have to do, just stop being so Western and arrogant and which only demstrate how ignorant you are about the majority people of the world which, animals are treated more inhumanely and horribly by the people who bring the chickens you eat for dinner don’t be a f__kin’ hypocrit, so sick of you Westerners and Christian-based people thinking that you were given the god-given right to tell other people how to worship their gods

    1. Jeebus says:

      And the rest of us are all sick of pathetic little punks like you who think you have some relevant insight to leave is any forum. Fact is, you’re a dolt. Get off the dope, zippy. Is it stinky where your head is right now? I think perhaps so.

  25. Ya aKov says:

    Kindly refrain from using the strange term “ULTRA ORTHODOX”. It show a complete lack of understanding of Judaism. Please study up on such and you will seethis phrase has been recently coined by non observant and or secular reformers to paint observant jews as radical or extremists…. Observant jews follow the ShuChan Haruch (code of jewish law) and do not simply reinvent themselves or their beliefs do to changing social /polital climates…. eg in the 1880s in NYS if a person stole a horse or cow he got the death penalty….. should we bend jewish law to accept such . This law goes back to Moses and the Bais Ha Mikdish (G-ds temple on mount in Jerusalem). If man simply decides every few years to add or sutract from the Torah (G-d forbid) it not be good. Another example, in the middle ages non jews did not and were not allowed to bath or wash hands and often dumped their sewage and trash right out into the street and drinking water…..Torah law says we have to bathe and wash hands and are to bury waste out side of our camp….. the plagues sadly killed millions of people that didnt listen. Modern science today has proven the Torah accurate . Lets just do what G-d says…. out of the 613 laws 87 apply today outside of Israel with no temlpe… NYS and the Feds have tens of thousands of laws that we follow (many we dont even agree with) How can we be so absurd to ignore at least the seven noachide laws….

  26. goblin says:

    Who Cares? How is this even news?

  27. Jimmy says:

    2.5 million human beings have been slaughtered in sudan and the slaughter continues today and all these animal rights people as well as the media seem to be concerned with is chickens. On the holiday of Thanks Giving are not Turkeys killed and eaten! Should we ban all non jewish holidays as well? PS The only country that took in significant numbers of Sudanese Christians was Israel… a country human rights and animal rights seem to love to pickk on yet the seem to ignore the genocide in Sudan as well as many other attrocities…… Just leave the Jews alone….Take it up with the UN security council…. o wait most of the members are terrorist s sorry lol

  28. Ralph says:

    Why don’t they donate the chicken to their own food banks!! Who wants to eat an animal thats been cursed?

  29. John Q. Pubic says:

    Can’t they just choke their chickens?

  30. iggy says:

    This article is inaccurate. 1) Everyone does it, not just the Rabbis. 2) The throats aren’t slit as much as the chickens are slaughtered and given to charity. That being said, the issues are that some , or many, of the chickens are being thrown out instead of being given away, and that they are often not fed for a day or two prior to the ritual.

    What 1010 WINS said about the chickens being starved as part of the ritual is inaccurate and extremely misleading.

    1. Michael H. says:

      How do you think the chickens are slaughtered? Their throats are slit in accordance with kosher law.

  31. MIKE says:

    AND MICHAEL VICK GOES TO JAIL FOR A FREAKIN DAWG!!!!!!!!!

  32. I use chickens says:

    I don’t know what their issue is. The chickens are cleaned and sold or given to those in need. I guess ignorance is more wide spread that I originally thought.

    1. Shoshana says:

      I wish that 1010 WINS would use cultural informants rather than just reporting out of ignorance. I wish their journalism would reflect the good reputation they usually maintain. Instead, they have opted just to perpetuate ignorance. I only hope that their unethical presentation does not inspire widespread hatred and ignorance.
      As a general practice the chickens are slaughtered and provided as food for the needy.

    2. Rina Deych says:

      I have followed this issue for two decades. Through the years, in my Boro Park neighborhood alone, I have found chickens discarded in garbage bags and dumpsters, left to rot and putrify. Of the few slaughtered birds who are donated by some of the groups, many are actually treif (unkosher) because they have wounds from being packed tightly in the crates and broken wings from being swung. These are broiler birds, whose bodies are bred too heavy to be supported by their wings. Swinging them in this fashion violates tsa’ar ba’alei chaim, the Jewish mandate not to cause harm to animals.
      The practice is cruel and needs to be cast into the dustbin of history.
      Rina Deych, RN
      Member
      Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos
      http://www.endchickensaskaporos.com/

    3. tara says:

      I fast for Yom Kippur and I don’t do this. Its cruel, outdated and unnecessary. The slaughter of conscious animals is barbaric and swinging them about like pendulums isn’t commensurate with a festival thats supposed to be about repentence.

  33. Have A Nagila or Two says:

    Thing (1) : The Kaporos ritual has been practiced for hundreds of years. Why wasn’t it a “problem” until now??

    Thing (2) : If these groups are truly “upset” about Kaporos, then they should do what REAL Americans do – SUE to recover their monetary losses.

    1. Donna E. Ploss says:

      Yet, Jews won’t put beef and milk products on the same plate. What is wrong with this picture?? They need to stop this practice!! It is what is it…ANIMAL CRUELTY!!! What kidn of message are they sending to our children? That it’s okay to kill innocent animals in the name of religion??? Enough already!!

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