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