Dozens of animal rights activists protested
Thursday in Petah Tikva
against the use of live chickens in the Jewish custom of Kapparot, in which one swings a live chicken or a bundle of coins over one's head three times during the days before Yom Kippur,
the Day of Atonement, so as to transfer one's sins to a chicken or to the money, which is given to charity.
Protesters carried signs reading "Mitzvah from the Torah?" and "I'm not your repentance," and waved banners with pictures of chickens.
One of the protesters said "We've seen the phenomenon of Kapparot using live chickens… here in Petah Tikva, in a yeshiva
that uses them. They take chickens, abuse them, turn them around their heads and the chickens scream with pain."
The protester added that "The Ramban and Rabbi Yosef Caro were also against this custom, as it harms animals, and we are here to protest against that."
Protests in Petah Tikva (Photo: Nili Hen-Avidan)
Tammy, an animal rights activist from Herzliya,
added: "We are against this ritual… and suggest replacing the chickens with money, or even flowers." She noted that many rabbis were in support of the cause.
"We refuse to live in a country where animals die for our customs," a protester cried out.
Earlier this month, the Let the Animals Live association has appealed to Israel's new Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, describing the suffering of live chickens used as part of the religious custom, prompting the rabbi to urge the public to "prevent animal suffering and unnecessary pain."
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