In Israel, the lobby for animal welfare is strong, and growing. It’s an issue that brings together left and right, secular and religious… up to a point.
Behind the scenes in the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee in recent days, there have been desperate attempts to add a clause to new animal welfare legislation in order to safeguard the right of Israelis to symbolically transfer their sins to a chicken and then have it slaughtered.
Orthodox lawmakers are keen to ensure that they don’t find themselves to have approved laws that are used to stop the annual atonement ceremony of kapparpot which is performed on Yom Kippur eve. Kapparot schloggers, as those who perform of this ritual are called, declare that the bird will carry their sins, pass it over their head (carefully, as an injured bird would render its meat non-kosher) and then take it to a shochet for slaughter.
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