The problem with using chickens for kapparos

Taken from the “chumra of the week” Facebook club. Not sure who exactly wrote it- but its amazing

I don’t hold by kaparot/ss with chickens

COW (chumra of the week) members have truly been blessed with an opportunity to differentiate their yirat/ss shamayim/m from the rest of Am Yisrael/oel in regard to their practice of kapparot/ss.

There is an intrinsic problem regarding kaparot/ss with a chicken in that the chicken does not have a hechsher. This poses a problem of maarit/th/s Ayin/n in that a Torah True Jew (TTJ) seen to be holding a non-hechshered product could lead to a downgraded yichus status or even worse an appearance on the local cheirem board.

There are 2 apriori possibilities of dealing with this concern 1) That all TTJ’s only use chickens bearing a hechsher from a certified registered Gadol or 2) An alternative form of kaparot/ss be performed.

The problem with option 1 is that BHYS (Baruch Hashem yit/s barach/boruch shmo) there are so many TTJ’s in the world and LH (leavonot/s ainu harabim) there are not sufficient certified registered Gadolim with veterinary training that this is simply unfeasible

Option 2 faces a series of other problems which COW will BHYS address:

The Rambam (Hilchot Erev Yom HaKippurim) is of the opinion that kapparot/ss is a heathen practice, this is completely unfathomable to the TTJ since it is completely normal to swing live animals around one’s head and then slit their throats, but the Rambam obviously lived in a far more refined culture than TTJ’s and thought the practice odd.
Funnily enough the Rashba (Teshuvot HaRashba) was of a similar opinion, but did not take the stance of considering it darkei haEmori. Nevertheless there are opinions supporting the Ashkenazi practice such as the Mahari Veil who justifies the practice by stating that when performing kaparot/th/ss one should imagine himself receiving the same punishment as the chicken. According to Mahari Veil, the purpose of kaparot/ss is not necessarily to transfer one’s iniquities onto the chicken, but rather, to elicit thoughts of repentance. As such, this practice is not based on any idolatrous practice and thus there is no violation of darchei ha’Emori.
There are some lesser known options for kaparot/ss such as cash, kitniyot or kingklip COW will explore some of these options:

Parev kapparot/ss

Rashi, (Shabbat 81b), quotes a minhag to plant kitniyot/ss in a pot 22-25 days prior to Rosh HaShanah. On Erev Rosh HaShanah each member of the household takes their pot and waves it over their head seven times stating that “this should be an exchange for this” (implying that the iniquities are transferred to the kitniyot/ss). The pot is then thrown into the river.

COW has several problems with this minhag chiefly the concern that the kitniyot/ss may be confused with chameitz and the pot would become assur behanaáh on Pesach
Although this presents a complicated a problem it does introduce a significant potential revenue stream to Gadol approved hechsheirim in that all pot plants would require hechsheirim, this issue will doubtlessly meet with resistance with the mashgiach unions but IYHY ( I’m Yirtzeh Hashem Yit/s barach/boruch) BSDS (besyata dishemaya) these problems will be overcome.

The second problem is that the local rivers will become infested with kitniyot/ss and as such will be unsuitable for drinking water on Pesach, this however will not constitute a genuine problem for TTJ’s since we only drink mehadrin glatt chalav yirael water on Pesach and the whole year round.

Rav Ovadia Yosef rules that because of the concern of improper slaughter, it is preferable for a community to conduct kaparo/ss over the course of a few days during the Aseret/ss Yemei Teshuvah. Rav Ovadia’s suggestion would also ameliorate the concern for tza’ar ba’alei chaim by reducing the waiting time between the waving of the chickens and their slaughter.

COW in consultation with its resident certified Gadol has come up with a Glatt kosher rubber chicken which has a mehadrin storage pocket in its belly to store coins ,cash notes and bank guaranteed cheques.
This chicken can be swung around the head in performance of kapparot/ss

This solution provides an ideal mechanism to perfom kapparot/ss in that there is no concern for causing the chicken any harm, there is no concern for heathen practises and the problem of downgraded yichus is alleviated since the rubber chicken bares a Gadol endorsed hechsher.

Due to the various customs of male and female chickens to be utilyzed for the relevant sexes, COW has designed male and female rubber chickens/roosters.

For purposes of protecting the sanctity of the Jewish people and maintaining modest behaviour, chickens and roosters must be separately stored to avoid the possibility of mixed dancing and intermarriage.

COW wishes all it’s Torah True readers a chag kasher ve’sa(o)meach and may all your iniquities be transferred to chickens, pot plants, fish, and soy beans.

And may the coming year be one in which you are marbeh hechsheirim, separate seated busses, separate standing pizzaria’s and schools which provide anti-vocational education.

13 comments for “The problem with using chickens for kapparos

Leave a Reply