Judge blocks kapparot pre-Yom Kippur chicken ritual in Southern California


Jewish Telegrahic Agency:

Judge blocks kapparot pre-Yom Kippur chicken ritual in Southern California

A Los Angeles federal court judge ordered a preliminary injunction against performing kapparot, a Jewish pre-Yom Kippur ritual in which a chicken is swung by its legs and then slaughtered. U.S. District Judge Andre Birrote Jr. granted the injunction Friday in response to a lawsuit filed late last month on behalf of the Virginia-based United Poultry Concerns against the Chabad of Irvine and an unnamed rabbi.
The judge set a hearing for Thursday at which Chabad Irvine is to have the chance to contest the injunction. Yom Kippur begins Tuesday evening and ends Wednesday night, so the ruling essentially prevents the ritual from being performed in honor of the holiday this year.

Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie, the director of the North County Chabad Center in Orange County, called the suit frivolous and suggested it would not have advanced had the injunction not come down on the eve of Shabbat.
“The whole lawsuit is a false lawsuit by an extremist, publicity-seeking organization from outside the state,” Eliezrie told JTA. “If there was a proper hearing on the other side, the judge would have seen that the suit has no basis in reality.”
Kapparot is an ancient practice performed annually by some Jews between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. By performing kapparot, a person’s sins are said to be symbolically transferred to the chicken and atoned for ahead of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The meat of the chicken is then donated to charity. Some people perform the ritual using money in place of a chicken.
The lawsuit alleged that the chickens are crammed tightly into cages and mishandled, and that they are disposed of and not used for food.

An attorney for United Poultry Concerns told the Orange County Register that it is now considering action against other Jewish centers that use live chickens.
Eliezrie said kapparot had not been scheduled at the Chabad of Irvine this year, but the practice will go on as scheduled elsewhere in the Los Angeles area.
“Many Jews in Southern California will be going to a lot of locations to do kapporos, which is their religious right, and will be doing so in a humane and legal fashion,” he told JTA.
A similar lawsuit filed on behalf of the San Diego-based Animal Protection and Rescue League is making its way through the state court system. A lawsuit calling for an emergency restraining order against the ritual was denied last year, according to the Register.
Lawsuits filed last year in suburban Detroit and New York City were decided in favor of holding the holiday ritual.

Interesting that they went after the Chabad, I’m sure there are many more practitioners of Santeria who also ritually kill chickens.


There is always going to be someone nasty that will try to interfere with religion.

We slaughter our own organic chickens here on our farm. We raise meat chickens for our own consumption and dress them out ourselves. Our methods do not have any religious aspect to them, but we looked into providing organic chickens to our local Jewish community. We have the necessary equipment (temperature of the scalder, etc…). Unfortunately, they don’t have anyone qualified to say the prayers and use the specially prepared knife to actually kill the chickens. We are familiar with what the chicken experiences during the ritual and it is definitely within acceptability as far as being humane. In fact, if you gently swing a chicken by his legs, he will become quite calm because of the blood rushing to his head. We don’t do this, but it would not be cruel. Putting them it tight cages sounds like a temporary thing to transport them to slaughter. It would be worse if they could flap their wings during transport.

If these nuts want to go after cruelty, they should focus on the way big farms raise their chickens. We use chickens that grow fast and have lots of meat, but they are also vigorous and active. Big farms use weak strains with accelerated growth that makes them too weak to support their own weight. They spend much of their day laying down and cannot even scratch by the time they are about six weeks old. At eight weeks, if they aren’t slaughtered on time, many have heart attacks. Some even have heart attacks before they reach slaughter weight. At slaughter, many have strange fatty tumors on their bodies. It’s hard to explain the difference if all you know is grocery store chicken.

In contrast, our chickens are from stronger free range lines and they get a lot of room to move around, scratch, take dust baths, eat grasses as well as insects to supplement their diets, as well as enjoy the sunshine. In short, they can do all the things that chickens should do. It may not seem like a big deal to let chickens take dust baths, but we have to lock up our chickens in adverse weather (our meat chickens as well as laying hens). They have shavings on a wood floor which does not allow for dust bathing and preening that comes along afterwards. You should see how desperate they are after a day locked up. They go right out and take their dust bath. Even before they seek bugs or food. There is not much to being a chicken, but you should always allow animals their natural behaviors. Seems cruel to me to deprive them when they have so few needs. Our chickens are still healthy at slaughter time. We do everything we can to make their end quick. It’s not a bad life for a chicken. It’s also a much more pleasant flavored meat and no weird fatty tumors.


You’re next. Wish I was joking. :frowning:


I didn’t read the article but I am almost certain it involve crazy groups like PETA. Animals don’t have rights, we have rights about animals given by God. Groups like PETA seem to value animals over people. :mad:


I do not like inhumane treatment of animals. I know animals are killed for human consumption, but I would like it to be as humane as possible - including the raising of these animals. Their living conditions should be humane too.


I agree with you Stylteralmaldo. Was going to say the same thing.

If animals don’t have ‘rights’ then neither to people… what I mean by “rights” is not under earthy government laws, but GOD’S laws:. The Bible says the holy man will treat his beast well… this means right up to slaughter time. You don’t stuff them in cages for more than 24 hours (or more) and not feed them or give them care just because 'they are going to die anyway soon"… that’s just sheer irresponsibility and laziness, and it shows a clear lack of remorse for the animal’s well being, PLUS a clear indication that you aren’t really thankful for what God gave you, or furthermore, it shows you don’t respect the authority of how God expects you to treat something he allowed under your care.

SO much excused under the guise of “religion”.


The sad truth is that the slaughter process is rather messy so feed withdrawal is an unfortunate phase of readying an animal for slaughter. You want them to have access to water, but a chicken with a full crop is very hard to dress out properly. Crops tend to burst easily and contaminate the meat with tiny crushed up bits of feed. It bothers me to waste a life of an animal. That’s one reason we offered to assist the local Jewish population. Sometimes, things go wrong and the chicken is not able to be used for food by strict Jewish laws. We gentiles, who are free from the old laws, could use those animals instead of them going to waste.

I welcome anyone to visit our farm and see our animals. They are happy, healthy and enjoying life in a natural way. We make sure their death is swift and as pain free as possible.


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