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Orthodox Jews’ Ritual of “Kapparos” :: Swinging Chickens


I saw a story on NPR about how, in preparation for Yom Kippur (which begins at sundown tonight), many Orthodox Jews participate in a chicken-swinging ritual. Apparently, however, it has become quite a controversy and some Orthodox Jews are rejecting the tradition, suggesting that money be swung instead. I wanted to get a better idea of how this chicken-swinging ritual might actually look – especially the part where a chicken for each family member is slaughtered as a symbol of atonement.  This is a video I found from the New York Times that shows what Kapparos is all about.

This is my exchange, this is my substitute, this is my atonement. This rooster/hen will go to its death (or this money will go to charity), while I will enter and proceed to a good long life and to peace.

– Usually read 3 times while swinging the chicken above one’s head

September 27, 2009 1:23 am

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