Skip To Content
Fast Forward

WATCH: Chickens Die In Cages Awaiting Yom Kippur Swinging Ritual

A video broadcast by New York’s ABC 7 channel shows chickens in cages that have died waiting to be used for kapparot, the ultra-Orthodox practice of swinging a chicken around your head to transfer your sins to it.

The broadcaster reporting the video noted that, although the word kapparot means “forgiveness” in Hebrew, “it is hard to forgive the images you’re about to see.”

The ritual, which which dates to at least the 7th century C.E., is a common occurrence in ultra-Orthodox sections of Brooklyn such as Borough Park and Midwood.

“We had a meeting in our community with the rabbis,” Assemblyman Dov Hikund told ABC 7. “All are on the same page. It’s gotta be done the right way, can’t cause situations where chickens are not being fed.”

The ritual generally involves swinging a chicken three times around one’s head while reciting biblical verses.

Activists who oppose the practice have challenged the City of the New York and the city’s police and health departments. In June, an appellate court in Manhattan ruled that the ritual could continue.

Contact Ari Feldman at [email protected] or on Twitter @aefeldman.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.