Justice, Religion

Animal Rights Activists Protest Kaparot in Jerusalem

My sister called me earlier this evening to tell me that a group of animal rights activists were protesting outside the shuk, where individuals are gathering at a municipality-designated site to perform kaparot — arguably the most bizarre of all Jewish rituals.
Kaparot involves swinging a chicken over your head and imbuing it with your sins; then having the chicken ritually slaughtered. However, money can be substituted for the chicken, and the ‘sacrifice’ substituted with the giving of charity. This substitution was the demand of the activists.
So I shlepped up the block with my digi and captured a few scenes. Enjoy.

The large sign reads, “Kaparot with money, not with murder.”

The small sign reads, “Stop murder.”

This gentleman is arguing with my sister, who taunted the demonstrators by chanting “Meat is tasty” and was subsequently called a Nazi — setting off an obvious firestorm. His shirt says “Meat is murder.”

Earlier, according to one friend who attended the demonstration, a shopkeeper turned a hose on the demonstrators, drenching them with water. “Why are you attacking us,” my friend asked. The shopkeeper gave him a foul look, and continued to spray him, while religious onlookers shouted, “You Leftists are destroying the country!”
Mmm, drink in that holiday spirit of forgiveness.

9 thoughts on “Animal Rights Activists Protest Kaparot in Jerusalem

  1. Stupid stupid stupid. Kaparot, I mean, not the demonstrators. I dunno – as a halakhic, shomer mitzvot dati leumi Jew who lives in Jerusalem and is also a vegetarian (and was a vegan for several years) and religiously inspired at that, it pains me dearly to see the religious opposition to vegetarianism, which is the Torah’s ideal (but not halakhically mandated!). Had I known about this protest, I would have been there with a big kippah on my head and tzitzit hanging out with the “Kaparot is money not murder” flyer myself (oTOH, Kapparot does remind me a bit too much of Avodah Zarah anyway).

  2. I know one of the demonstrators in the photo – Lili, I think. I miss her, and all the old Anonymous crowd. Good to see that the social crisis and war footing in Israel haven’t dimmed thier passion for saving chicken’s lives. Or is that chickens’ lives?
    Long live the shnitzel liberation front! Anyone know if a ‘sinful’ chicken is tastier somehow? As Homer would say, mmmmm, sacrilicious…..

  3. “The shopkeeper gave him a foul look, and continued to spray him, while religious onlookers shouted, “You Leftists are destroying the country!”
    Mmm, drink in that holiday spirit of forgiveness.”
    OK, I forgive the shopkeeper and religious onlookers.

  4. I dunno…the practice of a ritual wherein an animal is slaughtered is ok by me as long as the meat is not wasted, but eaten. As far as I’m concerned, if you don’t want to eat meat, good…more steaks for me! Pushing vegetarianism on other folks strikes me as being pretty silly…

  5. Big brouhaha re kapparot in L.A.:
    Kapparot chicken escapes:
    Reader comments, including press release from pro-chicken activists and comments re anti-kapparot demonstration set for Sunday at Ohel Moshe:

  6. in our factory farming systems, people rarely come into contact with the animals they (quite frequently) consume. If Kapparot allow for city dwellers to give a thought to where their meat comes from, how it is treated, and that it was once a sentient being, then I much prefer Kapparot to packaged chicken schnitzel on the shelf.

  7. It’s not just the question of eating or not-eating meat, it’s also the terrible suffering these birds go through before slaughter. Raised under horrible conditions on factory farms, they are then crammed into cages on trucks, delviered to shorpkkkepers who often leave them in the hot sun with no food or water for days. Shivchei ha-Ari tells how the Arizal once dismissed a disciple from his sight because he had not fed his chickens for three days. The Ari embraced kapparot, true — but would he approve of the way the chickens are handled now?

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