It’s that time of year again. That time when I can’t decide whether to stand with my holy-but-barbaric brothers and sisters, the ever-lovin’ Brooklyn Hasidim, or to stand with my holy-but-self-righteous brothers and sisters in PETA.
On one hand, kaparot — 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?
More photos after the cut, or go here for the full gallery.
Holiness, and holy $#!*:
People stuffed into traffic, chickens stuffed into boxes. So alike it’s eerie, but only one of them gets to choose to be there.
If everyone had this perfect concentration when they prayed, all our prayers would go straight to heaven:
Pronounced: khah-SID-ik, Origin: Hebrew, a stream within ultra-Orthodox Judaism that grew out of an 18th-century mystical revival movement.
Pronounced: sue-KOTE, or SOOH-kuss (oo as in book), Origin: Hebrew, a harvest festival in which Jews eat inside temporary huts, falls in the Jewish month of Tishrei, which usually coincides with September or October.
Pronounced: tuh-SHOO-vah, (oo as in boot) Origin: Hebrew, literally “return”, referring to the “return to God” teshuvah is often translated as “repentance.” It is one of the most significant themes and spiritual components of the High Holidays.
Pronounced: tzuh-DAH-kuh, Origin: Hebrew, from the Hebrew root for justice, charitable giving.