Imagine
atoning for sins in a way that is sinful. According to a newly released letter written by Israeli Chief Rabbi David R. Lau, that is exactly what’s happening when Orthodox
Jews abuse chickens during the annual ritual of kapparos. Explaining that such
abuse is “a mitzvah through a transgression,” Chief Rabbi Lau
reminded participants and suppliers that they have “a holy duty all year
round to prevent any animal suffering and unnecessary pain … “.

Even
though Jewish law condemns cruelty to animals, every year millions of chickens
are killed in kapparos rituals on the eve of Yom Kippur. Shoved into tiny cages
and left to languish without food and water in the end-of-summer heat, the
frightened animals are roughly grabbed by their feet and wings, often squawking
in pain and fear as they’re waved over the heads of participants, before being
slaughtered. In Brooklyn alone, 50,000 chickens are killed every year during
kapporos ceremonies.

There
is a better way. Many
Orthodox Jews forgo chickens in favor of waving money instead. With the words
of Chief Rabbi Lau reminding Orthodox Jews of their obligation to alleviate
animal suffering, we hope that ritual chicken abuse will quickly become a thing
of the past.

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Article source: PETA Files

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