Monday, October 3, 2011

Kapparot in Jerusalem


The KAPPAROT before Yom Kippur are nothing more but a custom ! Some great Rabbis say it is a foolish custom others see it as a Tikun (rectification of one's soul). 

I don't participate in the Kapparot but if you are planning to do so: You can  participate either by giving a certain amount of money (about 20 Shekels / 5 Dollar and more) as Zedakah for a Yeshiva etc. The second possibility is buying a chicken alive and a Shochet is going to slaughter it ritually on the spot. The chicken is being circled over your head and, symbolically speaking, the sins are being transferred into the chickens. Then it will be slaughtered and you can either give it to the poor or take it home and eat it. 

Killing thousands of chickens is causing an outcry of animal activists every single year anew. Demonstrations against Kapparot with chickens are taking place all over Jerusalem. Nevertheless, especially the Ashkenazi haredi society doesn't give in and insists on Kapparot with chickens. Many other Jews have switched to money (see photos below). 

I took the following photos in Jerusalem last year:

Kapparot with money

In front of Jerusalem's Machane Yehudah Markt (at Jaffa Road).

Kapparot with chickens ay the Etz Chaim Yeshiva near Machane Yehudah Markt

Ritual slaughter of the Kapparot chickens carried out by a Shochet

The chickens

After slaughtering, the Shochet is putting the chickens into those "holes" so that the blood comes out.

Photos & Copyright: Miriam Woelke

Links to KAPPAROT:


  1. B'H

    The problem is not the Kapparos, but how the chicken are handle by some people. Judaism forbids cruelty towards animals. You have some people who are unable to be gentle with the chicken. That's the problem, not the Kapparos ritual.

    When you do it kindly, there is no problem whatsoever.

  2. B"H

    I have seen chickens squeezed into small boxes standing in the burning heat. Neither water nor food was provided for the animals.

  3. B"H

    Animal activists are planning on protesting in Crown Heights:

  4. B"H

    Every year when it is Kapparot time, animal activists always demonstrate in Jerusalem. Usually around the Machane Yehudah Market area when I took the photos in this blog post.