In New York, it’s 1-0 to chicken-swingers

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY JC RE­PORTER

THE STRICTLY Ortho­dox cus­tom of swing­ing a chicken around one’s head as a way of purg­ing sin ahead of Yom Kip­pur was the sub­ject of protests and law­suits in the US dur­ing this year’s High Holy Days.

In New York, an­i­mal rights ac­tivists sought to sue the prac­ti­tion­ers of the slaugh­ter rit­ual — known as ka­poros — on the ba­sis that the blood, fae­ces, and car­casses it can leave be­hind on the street are a public nui­sance. The judge re­jected that ar­gu­ment, how­ever, and the ac­tivists lost the case.

Fol­low­ing the judg­ment, the Ortho­dox groups tar­geted by the law­suit said that they had bought 50,000 chick­ens to kill in the days be­fore Yom Kip­pur.

In re­sponse, an­i­mal rights ac­tivists gath­ered in the heav­ily Ortho­dox ar­eas of Crown Heights and Bor­ough Park and chanted their op­po­si­tion to the cus­tom.

One prom­i­nent prac­ti­tioner moved his slaugh­ter rit­ual into a Lubav­itcher school park­ing lot in Crown Heights to “en­sure that op­pos­ing forces will not af­fect the ka­poros op­er­a­tion”.

Mean­while, in Detroit, Con­gre­ga­tion Bais Chabad of Farm­ing­ton Hills filed a suit against the United States Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, claim­ing that an or­der block­ing their ka­poros rit­ual — due to take place in a non-cer­ti­fied slaugh­ter­house — was an “un­con­sti­tu­tional in­ter­fer­ence with re­li­gious prac­tice”.

PHOTO: GER­A­LYN SHUKWIT

A Chasid ex­presses his views to an anti-kap­parot ac­tivist in Brook­lyn

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