Kapparos: Chickens, Fish, or Money?
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- This topic has 198 replies, 48 voices, and was last updated 13 years, 6 months ago by YW Moderator-80.
September 21, 2009 3:25 pm at 3:25 pm #660963
MONEY!! Thank goodness! Can’t fathom anything else.
Gosh mepal, you sound quite desperate. Can I sponsor you a free visit to the local soup kitchen? I’ll throw in a quarter to help with the MONEY issue too.September 21, 2009 3:26 pm at 3:26 pm #660964JaxMember
i do with chickens! then we watch our chickens being shechted and chopped up, to be sent to poor families for Yom Tov!September 21, 2009 3:35 pm at 3:35 pm #660965
Jax very nice!
Anyway even with money the money is supposed to Be used to buy a chicken and shecht it for a poor family. What’s the big deal!September 21, 2009 4:03 pm at 4:03 pm #660966
Rashi mentions a custom mentioned by the Geonim that “twenty two or fifteen days” before Rosh Hashono people would take baskets – one for each child – and plant legumes and the like, and before Rosh Hashono would wave them around their heads and say, “This should be instead of this [person], and it should be my exchange, and it should be my substitute.” The baskets would then be thrown into the river. In this Rashi we find the concept of saving oneself from a harsh Heavenly decree by it being effected on another object.
The Maharal writes that the Gemoro implies the same. The Gemoro brings the story of Rabbi Akiva who was travelling with a donkey, and rooster and a candle. Upon being refused entry to a certain city, Rabbi Akiva had no choice but to sleep overnight in the woods outside the city. During the night a lion killed the donkey, a cat devoured the rooster, and a wind extinguished the candle. The next morning he learned that the city had been attacked by murderous thieves and he had been miraculously saved. The Maharal explains that the same terrible fate that the townspeople had suffered, was to befall Rabbi Akiva as well. However, he was substituted by his donkey (representing his physical body), his rooster (instead of his soul) and the candle (instead of his intellect). The Maharal concludes that from this Gemoro we have an “absolute proof to take a chicken for a kaporo for the soul on erev Yom Kippur.”
The Remo brings this custom in Shulchon Oruch and writes that it is a custom of pious people and should not be disregarded.
In addition to the afore-mentioned dimension of kaporos being a “substitute” for the individual (as the Mishna Berura writes that the individual should imagine that all that is transpiring to the chicken should in fact have happened to him), there is another reason which is brought down in Eliya Rabo, that the kaporos is an atonement for the sins of the person. This being the case, it is likened to an obligatory sacrifice that each individual has to bring. (The halachic implications of these opinions will later be discussed.)
However the Kitzur Shulchon Oruch writes that the individual should not think that the chicken is literally his atonement. It should merely serve as a reminder that all of these things should have happened to him, thus arousing him to repent fully.
It is obvious from the authorities that the main part of the custom of kaporos is the slaughtering of the chicken. Especially considering the abovementioned objective of kaporos, that the individual realise that everything happening to the chicken should have happened to him.
Furthermore one of the criterion mentioned with regards to kaporos is that it should be conducted in the early morning. Both these points are evident in the words of the authorities.
In Shulchan Aruch the mechaber writes that this which they are accustomed to do kaporos on the eve of Yom Kippur to slaughter a chicken etc. Similarly in the Mogen Avrohom in the name of the AriZal and the Shalo.September 21, 2009 4:08 pm at 4:08 pm #660967mazcaMember
Well i am going to start telling u that love theminhag of chickens and u want to know why? it is because when i was a little girl my mother used to go to the market and buy chickens for kaparot, we fed them and kept them in the back yard for weeks and guess what I fell in love with the chickens but nevertheless the shochet used to come and made kaparot, I fell bad for the chickens but somehow I always felt cleansed and happy that my sins went to the chicken and not to me. After it got hard to do it, so my mother just called the butcher gave our names the made the shechita without our presence but it is a very strong minhag, and a beautiful one.
And if Hashem didnt want us to eat chicken or meat he would have given us the command in the Torah like everything else. There is not biggest Sedakah than providing food for the poor.September 21, 2009 4:12 pm at 4:12 pm #660968mazcaMember
Joseph thank u for letting us know and teaching us the minhagSeptember 21, 2009 4:18 pm at 4:18 pm #660969
Joseph, just much neater and cleaner that way. Either way the poor get what they need for YT, so what’s the big deal? And you can save your offer to the soup kitchen for someone else. No thank you.September 21, 2009 5:14 pm at 5:14 pm #660970
so what’s the big deal?
The big deal is that one should follow his family’s minhugim, be it kaporos or be it money, not come up with their own 2 cents.September 21, 2009 5:36 pm at 5:36 pm #660971
uh, sir, its our minhag. Not my two cents.September 21, 2009 5:38 pm at 5:38 pm #660972
So do it! But lets not lecture about neater and cleaner than the next guy’s minhug.September 21, 2009 5:49 pm at 5:49 pm #660973
Thanks for your permission.
re my neat-n-clean non-lecture, it is and thats the fact. Nothing to debate about it.September 22, 2009 1:18 am at 1:18 am #660974mosheroseMember
Our minhag is to use a chicken, but if its youre familie’s minhag to use money specifically, then thats all right.September 22, 2009 2:45 am at 2:45 am #660976pookieMember
moneySeptember 22, 2009 3:41 am at 3:41 am #660977postMember
who cares. does it change my life or anyone elses if i know their minhag or if they know mine. is this what Hashem wants from us barely a day after the day of judgement and less than a week from the day of atonemenet.September 22, 2009 7:50 am at 7:50 am #660978onlyemesMember
I don’t understand this thread. The minhag of kaporos with a chicken is very old and is still encouraged in many communities. The shechitah process is no different than any other shechitah that was practiced for centuries. Many poskim including the Mechaber, were against it for various reasons. The Ramah defends it. For various reasons also, money began to be substituted and is considered an acceptable alternative. To each his own.September 22, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm #660979
If you don’t care about everyones minhag then why are you reading this thread? I personally think its very interesting to hear about all types of minhags but that me…….September 22, 2009 1:00 pm at 1:00 pm #660980
post: I dont see what the problem is. What do you find wrong with us telling everyone what are minhag is?September 22, 2009 2:27 pm at 2:27 pm #660981
While I have no problem with idea of using chickens, the system for doing it needs to be fixed. Every year there are reports of violations and fines being handed out. It creates a huge chillul Hashem, and I believe that should come before your family’s minhag. I don’t think it’s considered a minhag to use a chicken over money anyway – the minhag would be whether to do kaparos at all.September 22, 2009 3:16 pm at 3:16 pm #660982
Feif: You haven’t read the quoted meforshim above for the minhug.
The anti-semites (whether Jewish or not) will find fault in kaporos no matter what.September 22, 2009 3:23 pm at 3:23 pm #660983postMember
If you really don’t care as much as you claim, then feel free to stop posting. Your posts are getting quite irritating. Either treat the members of the CR with respect, or don’t bother posting at all, because we will not approve them. 26September 22, 2009 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #660984BemusedParticipant
I know you might be hurt by the Mod’s comment. Please allow me to explain, so that you will realize that you are just as welcome as anyone else, albeit with a different perspective and understanding toward the CR.
I noticed your frustration in another thread(s) regarding the jokes offered in lieu of serious answers.
People generally do not use the CR as one would use Wikipedia- serious, detailed entries regarding sundry topics. Although this is a space for all to share and glean information, as well as exchange opinions, views, news, and banter, threads often segue into the most preposterous discussions, and that is all part of the “CR experience”. It is neither a scholarly work (please excuse me, all CR scholars) nor an “Ask the Expert” forum.
Sometimes, we read advice that truly reflects expertise. Sometimes, we gain serious information on cameras, Sukkah building, cooking, eye problems, weight loss, and how to become an Astronaut in seven easy lessons. We don’t EXPECT to gain the information we need, but we sometimes do, and appreciate it.
Banter, tongue in cheek jokes, tongue out of cheek jokes, corny offerings, and the ramblings of overworked minds sometimes find their way onto the threads. This is normal, par for the course, and at least as healthy as spinach.
If this forum pleases you, please join us. I have also made the mistake of assuming the culture of certain environments without having time to truly understand it. If you’re like me, you’ll get past it and enjoy.
Hope this helps.September 22, 2009 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm #660985
Joseph: Yes, anyone (anti-semite or not) can find fault with the way kaparos are done these days. They leave a huge mess, they leave hazardous things lying around, and it stinks up the neighborhood. It also violates many health codes. If it breaks the law, you shouldn’t do it. I don’t care whether it’s your minhag or not – that doesn’t override dinah d’malchusah or Chillul Hashem. You can easily do it with money and not cause any problems.September 22, 2009 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #660986gavra_at_workParticipant
Does anyone use fish? It there such a minhag?
We use money.
As long as the end result is Tzedaka to Aniyim, who cares what is used? Of course, with Tzaar Baali Chaim taken into account (don’t throw a live chicken or
dislocate anything 🙂September 22, 2009 4:40 pm at 4:40 pm #660987
….that is all part of the “CR experience”. With the exception of all posts made by an erudite character named “squeak”, it is neither a scholarly work (please excuse me, all CR scholars) nor an “Ask the Expert” forum.
Bemused, I am soooo offended by what you wrote that I fixed your post in bold above. Thanks. Please feel free to add other adjectives before my name as appropriate (I’m thinking of ‘fine’ and ‘brilliant’ and the like).
post, now you see what he means 🙂September 22, 2009 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #660988cherrybimParticipant
Feif Un – I couldn’t agree more; Chillel Hashem and scandal (especially for a minhag that can be done in other ways) overrides any other consideration.September 22, 2009 4:46 pm at 4:46 pm #660989YW Moderator-80Member
Fish is a minhag.
I’m pretty sure its even in Kitzur Shulchan Aruch.September 22, 2009 4:46 pm at 4:46 pm #660990
Feif: Absolutely wrong.September 22, 2009 4:49 pm at 4:49 pm #660991gavra_at_workParticipant
Thank You Mod-80.
It seems the Kitzur says it is a Bidieved. (Shofar.net)
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To Feif Un, check out The World of Prayer, v. II about kaparos. I think he mentions fish too.
That said, there are some major major issues now. In the shtetl everyone went to the shochet, this was just an incidental detour in the chicken’s life. Things are very different now and there has to be some major control in how kaparos establishments are run, if only mipnei aivah, but I can think of a lot of other good reasons.September 22, 2009 5:05 pm at 5:05 pm #660993BemusedParticipant
I am deeply sorry. You see, I *was* leery of hitting ‘Send Post’, fully cognizant that I did not remotely do justice to your scholarly, cultured, learned, cerebral, sharp-witted, superior contributions to our thirsty minds.
Please accept my apologies, and heartfelt gratitude for your editing.September 22, 2009 5:05 pm at 5:05 pm #660994
No, Joseph, I’m right. If it causes a chillul Hashem,it shouldn’t be done.September 22, 2009 5:08 pm at 5:08 pm #660995
Feif: Whether you think you are right or not, it will continue whether you like it or not. You can put your money on that. It will continue.September 22, 2009 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #660996cherrybimParticipant
Are fish to the “Yaish Oimrim”, l’chadchila or b’dieved?
Also, why were chickens used; because they were readily available and relatively inexpensive?
In Europe, where most people were poor, the kapara chicken was usually eaten by the family that shlugged it. Maybe this was a way of insuring that everyone ate wholesome food at the erev Yom Kippur seuda.September 22, 2009 5:12 pm at 5:12 pm #660997
bemused, many thanks 🙂 🙂September 22, 2009 5:15 pm at 5:15 pm #660998WolfishMusingsParticipant
You can put your money on that. It will continue.
That may be true… but that doesn’t make it right.
Sadly, murder and theft will continue too. (No, I don’t mean to equate kaparos with murder and theft — you know what I mean.)
The WolfSeptember 22, 2009 5:16 pm at 5:16 pm #660999
Bemused, per chance did you many oodles ago post as Sarah? Your erudition and tmimus are quite similar.September 22, 2009 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #661000
Its right. And it will continue.
Correct, 2 separate points.September 22, 2009 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #661001
Joseph: Yes, it will continue. That doesn’t make it right. The chillul Hashem will also continue.September 22, 2009 5:48 pm at 5:48 pm #661002NY MomMember
I read in an article in the Kashrus magazine (in a previous year) that the chickens from some mass Kaporos markets don’t really end up getting eaten by aniyim. That is because often they are sent to the families as is, without being plucked, soaked, salted, etc. and not in a usable form.
I am not saying that is the case with all, but this was a letter written by a kollel woman (IIRC) who wanted to bring it to the attention of the oilam.September 22, 2009 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #661003NY MomMember
Also, to add to what I wrote above: The kollel wife also wrote that she would also be hesitant to use the chicken even if it did come in a suitable form, because she did not know who the shochet was and if the shchita was reliable. The suggestion was made that if people want to shlug kaporos with a chicken, there should be reliable supervision, ensuring that the problems I mentioned and that others have mentioned are corrected.September 22, 2009 8:21 pm at 8:21 pm #661005
Well here where I live all the kaparot are actually done in a private place. The community sends shojatim and they actually do give them out to many people with coupons in one of the kosher butcher stores. But maybe since the community is smaller than many communities in NY that’s how they mantain control.September 22, 2009 8:47 pm at 8:47 pm #661006
I could use money, I do chicken, I dislike fish… any other questions?September 22, 2009 8:52 pm at 8:52 pm #661007
yes, what do you think of potted plants?September 22, 2009 9:01 pm at 9:01 pm #661008
They have soil
They are usually green
any other questions?September 22, 2009 9:34 pm at 9:34 pm #661009
yes, what do you think of combining tashlich and kaparos? You can shake out your pockets onto the ground, stuff the chicken with breadcrumbs, and then twirl the chicken and toss it into the river.
Also, would that still be OK if you used a fish for kaparos, since the fish might be happy to be tossed into the river?September 22, 2009 9:36 pm at 9:36 pm #661010
Hmmm..this year it is a hard choice between Jimmy Carter and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Ahmadinejad weighs less, and Carter is old and may peyger before shechita as a result of vigorous shlugging. So, I guess Mad Mahmoud is my candidate for a kappoore 5770.September 22, 2009 9:56 pm at 9:56 pm #661011
Most of the chilul Hashem caused by kapporos is that caused by the self styled modern Jews who cause trouble for their betters by stirring up all sorts of allegations and complaining, which in turn leads to outright mesira. They are unable to live Yiddishe lives because of their own weaknesses, and instead of improving themselves they complain about those who are stronger than they are.
The handful of poorly run kapporos locations are a drop in the bucket compared to the stink raised by PETA and their minions, who include some who are ostensibly shomrei Torah umitzvos, but who are basically “ma yoffis” assimilated Jews deep down and want to show that they, too are “orthodox” but chas vesholom do not do anything as barbaric as shlugging kapporos.
In the end, the non-Jews respect us, the ones who stand up for what we believe in. They have only contempt for those who give in to nonexistent pressure and become lukewarm in their practices while attacking those who do what Hashem wants us to do without worrying about what the goyim, be they descendants of Amalek, Yishmoel, Esav or just the grandchildren of those who stood by and watched us being slaughtered time and time again, think of us.
If it ever happens again (chas vesholom), we will see that once again the kapporos knife will land on the ma yoffis Jews first, the ones who never expected the neighbors whose standards they fell to in order to please them to land on them like a ton of bricks when the tide turns.September 22, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm #661012
squeak you didn’t consider the option of filling your pockets with money and taking a dive…September 22, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm #661013
Indeed, the few poorly run locations should be censured by rabbonim and askonim, who in turn should warn Yidden that moisrim come around every year to photograph kapporos and to feel free to call the community patrol should they not be able to politely get any suspicious individual to put his camera away if photographing on private property.September 22, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm #661014
Then there is the Otisviller minhag of shlugging a fake diamond ring that is then thrown in the water (a combination of kappoores and tashlich), claiming insurance for a real 2 carat ring, and giving maaser from the insurance to a moisad that returns 80% of the donation while providing a tax receipt for twice the full amount of insurance received.
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