Shlug Kapparos Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010

"Shlug Kapparos"

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In the early morning hours of the day preceding Yom Kippur, the Kapparot ("Atonement") ceremony is performed. We take a live chicken (a rooster for a male and a hen for a female) and, circling it three times above our heads, we declare: "This is my replacement, this is my exchange, this is my atonement; this fowl shall go to its death, and I shall go to a long, good and peaceful life." The fowl is then slaughtered in accordance with halachic procedure, at which time we contemplate that this is a fate we ourselves would deserve, G‑d forbid, for our failings and iniquities. The value of the fowl is given to the poor, and its meat eaten in the Yom Kippur meal; some give the fowl itself to the poor. (A alternate custom is to perform the rite only with money, reciting the prescribed verses and giving the money to charity. Kapparot can also be preformed in the preceding days, during the "Ten Days of Repentance").

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~ High Holidays with Chabad in Houston ~

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Links:  The Custom of Kaparot (from the Yom Kippur "How to" guide); a  Chassidic story;  What Give us the Right to Kill Animals?