Rav Mazuz: Use Money For Kaparos Instead Of Chickens

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Speaking at a weekly shiur, Rosh Yeshivat Kisei Rachamim HaGaon HaRav Meir Mazuz Shlita spoke out regarding the minhag of Kaporos before Yom Kippur, stating that in the modern era it is preferable to give tzedaka instead of kaporos.

The rav continued to explain: “I used to use chickens, but it made a mess in the home and sometimes it died on the way. It was not simple. Hence, I did hataras nedarim and began with using money. Giving money is preferable anyway, since it is not dirty, and we eliminate the issue brought up by the Ben Ish Chai, that a chicken sees the other being slaughtered and becomes fearful and its lung collapses.”

He added, addressing the matter of cruelty to animals. “They take the chicken for the poor and the poor person says: They already brought me 100 chickens. Where will I put them all? I do not have a large freezer. If I keep them a bit here and there, then we can use it for Sukkos or Chanukah, during Cheshvan, Teves and Shevat and even have some remaining for Purim. This is simcha for the poor man? In addition, at times, the chicken is in a hot vehicle for hours and this is truly ‘tzar baalei chaim'”, he concluded.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)




6 COMMENTS

  1. I truly respect this gadol, having learnt many of his seforim. but have a few הערות on the ravs words

    “I used to use chickens, but it made a mess in the home and sometimes it died on the way. It was not simple. Hence, I did hataras nedarim and began with using money. Giving money is preferable anyway, since it is not dirty, and we eliminate the issue brought up by the Ben Ish Chai, that a chicken sees the other being slaughtered and becomes fearful and its lung collapses.”
    1) 90% of the people (my estimation) go to a kaparah centers, that too eliminates the problem of dirtying up the house, and dying on the way, left in the hot car and so forth.
    2) the minhag is from the times of the geonim, practiced through the ages, and endorsed by the arizal, so how could you say that mony is preferable. Mabe the rav means for sfardim.
    3) the issue of צמקת הריאה [its in shulchan aruch, and the problem that arises at kaparah shelugen is mentioned by the יד אפרים] is easily avoided by having the shochtem facing the other way, as i saw in the mentioned centers.
    4) there is no mekor for using money, the חיי אדם only says it because there were problems with the shochtim being overwhelmed, (not because of animal rights) so he says rather don’t do it the way it should be because eating נבילה is obviously worse, just use money, for tzedakah. But today אכשר דרא its calm, and shechted correctly, and the money goes to tzedakah, even the chai adam would say to use chickens as was the minhag for a thousand years.

  2. Firstly this is a century old minhag and should not be swept away just like this in public to please some antisemitic animal rights activists.
    Secondly most of us don’t take the chicken home, we perform the minhag in a public place and often the chicken is being shechted then and there.
    Unfortunately there are plenty of aniyim who are happy with a chicken for Yom tov there is no need to give a 100 to one family. Alternatively you can give it to a Yeshiva or other Moisad where talmidim/talmidos are classed as aniyim.

  3. @thinker123, @DavidtheKanoi I think all of you guys are completely underestimating this Gadol… When A Gadol BeTorah speaks its never wise to dismiss his opinion so easily…

    First off none of you mentioned that its a straight up Shulchan Aruch 601:1 and there Rav Kairo says straight out not to do it. Granted the Rema disagrees but still…

    @ DavidtheKanoi You say it is an ancient minhag and you cant mevatel it? The Kaf HaChaim quotes the Ramban who says Kaparot is no good because of Darchei Emori! Has VeSHalom to underestimate the words of such a Gadol. Also the Rashba in תשו’ סי’ שצ”ה explicitly says that he refrained from this minhag because of Darchei Emori.

    @DavidtheKanoi Animal rights?
    you are using a fallacy in logic called straw man. Rav Mazuz is using the Torah for his reasoning and nowhere does he talk about animal right groups! By you adding that, you are attacking a reasoning that he never claimed! Hence straw man.
    Saar Baalei Haim according to most poskim is an issur from the Torah.
    Even the Hatam Sofer would have a problem with this if there is no Toelet, and a lot of the chicken meat is wasted.

    Lastly @DavidtheKanoi: the Abarbanel in Ateret Zekenim on this siman explicitly says that it is better to give Aniim money than to use chickens from Kaparot because it is more embarrassing to accept a chicken that someone used for Kapara and die for their sins. He says this in the name of the אגודה ומהררי”ל.

    Shana Tova To everyone and may we truly do Teshuva. Hashem wants sincerity over thousands of korbanot and Kal Vehomer kaparot chickens. Rav Mazuz is a true Gadol that is a beracha for Achudut and Emet. Baruch Hashem for such a leader, may Hashem give him a long life so we can keep his light in this world.

  4. I respect and listen to Rav Mazuz.
    Giving money to poor sound wiser and much bettter. Maybe the poor need money to eat bread or need medicine or need clothes for his children or need money for his basic needs for survival or …. which works better for him/her to receive money rather than chickens for our sins! Maybe he prefer money something else rather than chicken. Torturing chickens before killing them and add to our sins or is it purifying us from sins by give suffering to chickens hours in a hot car and in closed boxes and terrifying a poor thing and then kill it and seeing the other chickens are killed, poor things?! It also stop PETA and other animal activists to comment anything against us.
    I agree with respected brave Rav Mazuz
    Thank G-d for Rav Mazuz. May G-d bless him for guiding us to do right thing
    this new year 5779
    Wish you all a good and blessed
    new year 5779.