Kapparot Chickens Treife?

There is mention of an interesting halakhic ruling in an otherwise pedestrian Ynet article about abuses surrounding the practice of kapparot – the pagan ritual of waving a chicken over ones head to symbolically cast ones sins into the chicken, followed immediately by watching as the chicken is slaughtered, is meant to promote teshuva, repentence. While it may very well do that, especially for those who have never witnessed animal slaughter, if done incorrectly it causes great suffering to the animals, but not becuase of defective slaughter. Chickens are normally transported and housed crammed in small cages. They don’t have room to spread their wings or to move. They are often not fed and do not get hydration. Many, according to this article, about 50%, die in transport or while waiting to be used for kapparot.

According to Ynet, Rabbi Aviner, the leading posek of Israeli National Religious Orthodoxy has ruled that

[I]t is preferable to use money for Kapparot and that the slaughter is not kosher due to the treatment of the chickens.

If this is an accurate report of Rabbi Aviner’s ruling, this is quite significant. Copies of or links to the actual ruling would be much appreciated.

[Hat tip: SN.]



Filed under Kosher Meat Scandal, Modern Orthodoxy, Religion

9 responses to “Kapparot Chickens Treife?

  1. Yochanan Lavie

    Can we be yotze with a rubber chicken, instead?

  2. Neo-Conservaguy

    It is preferable to not perform this embarrassing minhag ha Shtetl. Let it die a more kind death than that of the birds.

  3. PishPosh

    This treatment of the Chickens is so true as well as the Turkeys. They are full of growth hormones wHitch destroy their immune system making them suseptible to so many disease which allegedly cannot be transmitted to humans if it ever gets to your table.
    They round emp up at midnite at the lul and basically a group of guys will begin at one end of the coup and more them towards the other side where these plastic crates bareley larger then the size of a milk carton where they are just stuffed in like so much laundry into a small washing machine.
    The turkeys fair much worse especially the males. Those guys heavy and you can only lift one at a time and they are mean and territoral and very unaccomodating as well so many times the more sadistic would kick and boot these males with their work boots towards the cages.
    And Im not suprised that so many die, maybe thats why they make up in hormonal growth bulk what they would miss via free range development.

  4. Anonymous

    There is no source anywhere for using money for kaparrot

  5. Stephen Mendelsohn


    According to my ArtScroll Yom Kippur machzor (page 2 commentary), Tur Orach Chayim 605 is the source for using money instead of a chicken for kapparot.

  6. Stephen Mendelsohn


    After all, the ritual is called kapparot (copper-ot?). Maybe one should use a bag of copper pennies.

  7. Ava Miedzinski

    I don’t know where all this negative information comes from. While it is true that the journey of a chicken through kapporos and to a poor person’s yom tov table isn’t pleasant, and maybe one out of a dozen chickens does die on the way, there is no way to keep a chicken from being afraid. The picture that I see on this website does disturb me. When I have done the kapporah over my daughter’s head or over a neighbor and her children’s heads, I am very gentle with each chicken. I hold it with both hands carefully.
    I have to add that the ceremony is very moving. The chicken that is waved over one’s head is to remind us that it is by Hashem’s grace that we are alive and have the means to buy and eat a chicken. Not one of us deserves our lives except as we work for earn it by pursuing justice in the world.
    Hashem gives plenty to those of us on the nice end of the stick, asking only that we pay it forward in charity to others. That chicken, having done the job of reminding me of my mortality and my obligations, is then given to a poor family to eat.
    As for using money, that is allowed, but to use a few copper pennies is to insult the word Tzedek. For the chicken, I have paid $12. Do you use that much in money for your kapporah? And how can a few pennies give you anything like the experience of holding a chicken that is alive and warm and scared and doomed to be a dinner for some poor person and his family, and knowing that this could be you, frightened and doomed to death (as maybe we all should be of the inevitable, every moment of our lives) but for the grace of Hashem to be living today in a world where Jews have their own country to fight for and other lands where they can live like other people do, and we are not living during a Holocaust in a concentration camp?
    Why do you blame anything on the Satmar Jews? I have lived with them, have family among them, and they are wonderful people. I would like to know where this negative feeling comes from that you share on this website. Of over 100 Hassidic sects, why do you single them out?
    Who are you to speak so negatively of other Jews anyway?
    Ava Miedzinski

  8. B”H
    Rabbi Aviner personifies the expression that one who shouldn’t try to be overly righteous or he may end up overly wicked. (Kohelet [Eccles.] 7:16-17 ) .
    While having compassion for poor chickens to the extent more than required by the Torah, or writing overly silly responsa trying to prove pilegesh is forbidden in response to Tzvi Zohar’s article on the subject)
    Same personally chocked a teenage boy in an effort to pull him away from peacefully protesting in Gush Katif plus he made a ruling that soldiers should obey orders of the evil Sharon’s government to throw out 8000 innocent Jews of their homes without adequate compensation and thus placing other communities in grater danger of Arab attacks as we have seen since :
    See the video:
    I mean Aviner writes some good Torah books but what kind of person would still see him as Torah authority even in his own “Mizrachi-religious Zionist” community?
    Did he apologise?
    Did he do teshuvah?
    If a rabbi bans beef and declares pork kosher (literally and figuratively) is the Rabbi himself still kosher?
    May the sins disappear by sinners doing teshuvah and that includes those who make such rulings and act like that.

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