Return of the Brooklyn Chickens

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I still have mixed feelings about Kaparot

On one hand, the pre-Yom Kippur ritual where we transfer our sins onto some unsuspecting other is completely spiritual. We’re purging ourselves — but, more than that, we’re taking the bad parts from ourselves and doing some good with it. By transferring our sins to a five-dollar bill (me) or a chicken (the in-laws) and then giving it to a poor family for Sukkot dinner, we’re embodying all three stages of repentance in one: teshuvah (saying we’re sorry), tefilah (praying), and tzedakah (charity).

On the other — well, what did that poor chicken do to you?

kaporot in Crown Heights


Read the rest of my kapparot commentary from last year — and check out some righteous photos of Hasidim and chickens — right here.

Posted on September 24, 2009

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