Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Jews in Arab countries* practised the custom of Kapparot on the eve of Yom Kippur. It is still practised in Israel but nowadays, animal rights campaigners may also be in attendance. These photos were taken in Mahane Yehuda market two years ago. Report in Israel News.
Kapparot, which is from the same Hebrew root as Yom Kippur and literally means ‘atonements,’ is a custom which aims to awaken the drive toward repentance while engaging in charity on the eve of Judaism’s central day of prayer.
The practice of kapparot using live fowl entails the following: A male or female chicken is taken in hand, corresponding to the gender of the taker or family members on whose behalf they are performing the ritual. Psalm 107:17-20 and Job 33:23-24 are recited and the live bird is swung around the person’s head three times. While swinging, the person recites the following three times: “This be my substitute, my vicarious offering, my atonement. This cock (or hen) shall meet death, but I shall find a long and pleasant life of peace.”
Read article in full
* Ashkenazi Jews (thank you, Independent Observer) too practised the ritual.