United Poultry Concers
17 August 2010
Petition to Replace Chickens with Money in Kaporos Rituals
Please Sign This Petition & Get Others to Join You!

The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos (ritual sacrifice) is a newly formed association of groups and individuals who seek to replace the use of chickens in kaporos ceremonies with money or other non-animal symbols of atonement. The Alliance does not oppose kaporos per se, only the cruel and unnecessary use of chickens in the ceremony. www.EndChickensAsKaporos.com

Kaporos (“atonements”) is a custom preceding Yom Kippur – the Jewish Day of Atonement – in which chickens are ritually sacrificed by many Orthodox Jews. The person “swings” the chicken, held by the legs or by pinning the bird’s wings backward, around his or her head while chanting about transferring one’s sins symbolically onto the bird. The chicken is then slaughtered and may or may not be given to the poor. Prior to the ceremony, the chickens are packed in crates, and birds not used have been found abandoned in their crates when the ceremony was over.

The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos seeks to replace chickens in kaporos rituals for 3 principal reasons:

  • The use of chickens as kaporos is cruel. They suffer in being held with their wings pinned backward, in being swung over the heads of practitioners, and in being packed in crates, often for days without food or water leading up to the ritual, which violates tsa’ar ba’alei chaim, the mandate prohibiting cruelty to animals.
  • The use of chickens is not required by Jewish law. It is not a mitzvah but a custom that originated in the middle ages.
  • There is an acceptable substitute that not only avoids cruelty but can help reduce hunger and show compassion. Money can be used as a non-animal alternative, and funds raised can be given directly to charities that provide food for the poor and hungry throughout the year, including 13,000 Jewish families living at or below the poverty line in New York City.

Please visit www.EndChickensAsKaporos.com where you will find our Change.org petition, rally announcement, and additional information about kaporos and our campaign to replace chickens with money or other nonsentient symbols of atonement. The petition includes a letter you can personalize, if you wish, and full contact information for the three petition recipients: the Orthodox Union, Rabbinical Council of America, and New York Board of Rabbis. At the very least, please sign up and press the Sign Button. Our immediate goal is 1000 signatures! Please help us achieve this goal for the birds. Thank you for helping.

Click On To Sign the Petition:

The campaign to end chickens as kaporos is a project of United Poultry Concerns and the Alliance To End Chickens As Kaporos, in association with all people who seek a compassionate kaporos in which no innocent bird has to suffer and die.

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