Sep 12, 2017
I Have Chickens, But I Use Money

Eli Shechter, who is a certified shochet and lives on a small farm in Israel, responds to the pro-kaparos article by Sruli Schochet.

By Eli Shechter

This is in response to the article from Sruli Schochet on COLlive.com titled "First They Came for the Chickens."

I have lived in Crown Heights during all of my youth and have always done Kaparos with chickens. I am not opposed to Kaparos and I believe that everyone that is willing to do it on a chicken, should.

However, in the above-mentioned article, the writer attempted to address the concern that the claims of Tzar Bal Chayim and Baal Tashchis are not valid. I couldn't disagree with him more.

As a certified shochet living in Eretz Yisroel, I have a small farm and I raise, shecht, pluck and clean my own chickens regularly. I know more than most of what it takes to care for chickens in their life and in their death.

All this being mentioned, please realize that what goes on in most of the kaporos is little more than Baal Tashchis.

As the Jewish people, we are meant to be a light onto the nations. This does not mean that their opinions should influence our minhagim, but our compassion, our G-dly qualities have to shine greater than the darkness.

This is highlighted in the instance of the Laws of Shechita where a knife cannot even have a slight scratch on it because the chicken may feel a tiny scrape. We are required to have extreme compassion to the point that it sometimes takes hours just to prepare the knife that will be used to kill the chicken.

IN REALITY...

The writer mentioned in his article that in his community (in Los Angeles) they make sure to process all the birds. In that case, I commend them and applaud them providing kaporos for their community.

However, while his kaporos may process hundreds or even thousands of chickens, this is nothing compared to the tens of thousands killed and trashed by other communities.

As a bochur, I helped kasher these kaporos chickens erev Yom Kippur. We gutted, cleaned and kashered up until an hour before the fast started. No matter how many we did, there were still great quantities that we didn't finish. That was then. Now the quantities would have only increased.

The issue at hand is that this is an age old minhag. Clearly, the rabbonim of old did not have issues with this, so why do we? Well, the problem is that the scenario has changed.

Pre-1930's if you wanted a chicken, you went to the store, purchase a live chicken, and the shochet slaughtered it on the spot and it was your pleasant job to clean and kasher the bird at home.

This was before refrigeration. Therefore, kaporos prior to 100 years ago was giving a meal to a poor person in the form of a freshly killed chicken. Now, no standard person is going to want a freshly killed chicken, feathers included. They want it washed and shrink wrapped.

In this age, we are practicing Baal Tashchis on a level that didn't exist in the days of old. And this is what is going on in the many communities that do not have the manpower/facilities to process the birds.

I also agree with the writer when he said humans and animals are not equal and humans have been given the right to rule the animal kingdom. But with that right comes great responsibility, and we must accept responsibility for 2 things: the welfare of the animal while it is in our care, and we must have respect for the life taken, and make sure that the shechted animal is not wasted and thrown away.

WHERE I DISAGREE

Even a chicken should not die in vain, it should be turned into food. I, therefore, disagree with you when you say that as long as the money for the chicken goes to charity, it's okay if it gets thrown out. That is disrespect to a life and a symptom of living in a disconnected society so far removed from where our food comes from, and the lives we take to feed our own.

Just as our world has changed and we happily adapted and accept conveniences like refrigerators in our homes and frozen chickens in our supermarkets, we have a responsibility to adapt the way we keep our minhagim to make sure we are not being cruel and wasting.

To those communities that want to provide kaporos for their members, I believe that it critical to the mitzvah that the full picture has to be presented.

Here are some thoughts and suggestions:

1. The live chickens have to be cared for in an appropriate manner. For instance, the trucks can be parked in the shade and the birds misted every few hours to prevent them from overheating.

2. Hire people to process the chickens. Instead of using bochurim, hire an experienced slaughterhouse worker and a crew of (even inexperienced) non-Jews who have no other responsibilities on erev Yom Kippur. That way, the job can be completed efficiently.

3) There has to be a guarantee that all the chickens killed will be cleaned and kashered.

I personally do kaporos on money each year. I obviously have the chickens at hand, but I don't have the several hours needed to process them on Erev Yom Kippur. I don't wish to go into Yom Kippur with such a terrible waste of life on my hands.

What good is symbolically taking the life of a bird (instead of our life), if we treat it as if it has no value!

With love from the Holy Land. Wishing you all a Ksiva vachasima tova.



Most Read Most Comments


Opinions and Comments
1
As far as I remember..
I believe the original post addressed this question by saying that by being used for kaparot it is no longer bal tashhis, whether it will be eaten or not.
(9/12/2017 10:09:08 PM)
2
Wow
Love everything about this article
So factual
So respectfully written
So true
(9/12/2017 10:20:24 PM)
3
Are the Chickens Wasted
This article is very informative. I would like to know the percentage of chickens slaughtered in Crown Heights that are thrown away my. Would participating in kaporos on an earlier day increase the chances of the chicken being eaten?
(9/12/2017 10:24:13 PM)
4
Thank you
I appreciated this article. After feeling very disturbed by the horrible kaparos system, I contacted my rav about using money and since then my YK feels more meaningful and happier than before.
In general I'm disturbed how in the frum world there seems to be little consideration to caring for animals. We are in a symbiotic relationship and each one is a creation of Hashem. Let's be more mindful and sympathetic to everyone and everything.
(9/12/2017 10:31:12 PM)
5
to 1
I don't think that is the case. Ba'al tashchis still applies, regardless of whether it was paid for or not, it still has a useful function and must be used to its fullest.. just because bh a wedding has plenty of food and its paid for doesnt mean its right to throw out the rest of it.
(9/12/2017 10:39:13 PM)
6
Thank you!
So beautiful! Finally the voice of morality and wisdom! Thank you!
(9/12/2017 10:55:15 PM)
7
Thanks
I enjoyed this post and agree with its sentiments.
(9/12/2017 11:03:11 PM)
8
Excellent Points
Sensitive and well thought out.

May more embrace this way of thinking!
(9/12/2017 11:04:44 PM)
9
I live in crown heights
I'm taking my kaporos home. I'm kashring them by my self and eating the chickens before and after yom kippur
(9/12/2017 11:07:24 PM)
10
Not relevant to ch
Very well written!
BH I know that on president st' Kaporos they hire a proffesional crew to guarantee that everything will be Kashered on no Bal tashchis is done...

I think the article is very well written however it's seems strange to me that the writer is a Shochet himself and he's giving up a Mitzvah because of the inconvenience. Idk.
Wishing everyone all the best
(9/12/2017 11:55:19 PM)
11
Eastern parkway Kaporos
I agree with the article on many levels, I worked a few years ago at Kaporos on Eastern parkway and as far as I recall every chicken was processed and put in the freezer for Hadar Torah buchrim and some were given to various Tzedaka organizations and passed on to needy families.

On President St the chickens are used to feed the thousands of Tishre guests.

I do agree with making sure the animals are taken care of, if someone reading this will pass on some simple ideas to the organizers or maybe even bring food for the etc. But to stop this great minhag, and in our case providing Thousands of need people with their Yom Tov needs, is wrong
(9/13/2017 12:25:29 AM)
12
Also
How many chickens get dropped when handled by both "bochurim staff" and the people doing kaparos. More than you think. I have personally witnessed kids that were handling the kaparos chickens who were part of the staff drop chickens flat on the concrete. Not saying its intentional and hoping it never is, but is it still deemed kosher after that? Hopefully no injury to it.
The mass kaparos definitely gets pretty messy regarding halachos.
(9/13/2017 12:28:21 AM)
13
Fantastic essay
Thank you to the author and to COL for publishing it. :)
(9/13/2017 12:38:32 AM)
14
The rebbe used chickens!
After all as much as you feel bad the rebbe (who we as chsidim follow) did kaporos on a chicken and i guess think like you so we follow the rebbe
Jsiva vchsima tova
(9/13/2017 1:09:04 AM)
15
Crown heights resident
In response to number 3

There needs to be a guarantee every chicken will be kashered

I have been doing Kaporos at Empire Shteeble for many years and I saw that all the chickens are Kashered. I heard mendel feldman is having Kaporos again this year.
Keep up the good work.
(9/13/2017 1:18:12 AM)
16
Ducks and GEESE
Give the chickens one year off
(9/13/2017 1:22:51 AM)
17
What else is coming
Article why we should not have mechitzes in our days
(9/13/2017 1:27:30 AM)
18
Wonderful Article
Very much appreciated your sensitivity. May the creator of all also be sensitive to your needs and give you a sweet Shans Tova
(9/13/2017 1:28:21 AM)
19
Wrong, LA i've seen dumpsters of chickens.
I went to a place that many go, and they threw them all in the garbage. The next year i did mine at a processing plant in downtown to prevent the stupid waste i saw. Love the article though.
(9/13/2017 1:54:41 AM)
20
Refreshing
So nice to read a well written counter article. Kudos to Eli for presenting his factual points without attacking.



(9/13/2017 2:12:59 AM)
21
plz learn before you write an article and be mashchil people
Eli you write an article saying you are a shochet as if you have an understanding of kaporas. Learn halacha and reasoning for kaporas and then write an article. By you saying you are a schochet how does that make you an expert of kaporas. Does the chicken company that sells the chicken to the org. that runs kaporas are they experts how kaporas should be done.
I am not an expert but I can share with you a little bit that I learnt. Why by us saying ze chalifosi.... ze hatarnegol yeileh l'misah v'ani ... so that means that the chicken is being killed instead of the person saying it and therefore the person will have arichus yomim .... why should a person get arichas yomin for a bird being killed and them just saying a few lines?
Go back for a second to the times of the beis hamikdosh. A person brought a korban and that was mechaper them on their aveira. ( which by the way how much of the korban was burnt, was that baal tashchis? ) The idea of the korban was that a person saw their animal being shechted because of their aveira, in their mind they knew that they deserved that and that caused them to do teshuva. The same idea is with kaporas. when a person sees their chicken being shechted instead of them that awakens them to do teshuva and therefore they will eilech lchaim tovim aruchim.... iyh
Now the fact that a chicken or any food gets eaten can still be baal tashchis. If a person does not make a brocha or eats food to give them strength to do not good things THEN THAT IS BAAL TASHCHIS. The whole idea is to elevate the food and that makes the chicken or any food accomplish its purpose and then its not baal tashchis. Normally it is done by saying a brocha or by using the strength you receive from the food to learn torah or do a mitzvah.
The same thing is being done by kaporas. If the chicken awakened the person to do teshuva then the chicken accomplished its purpose and it is not baal tashchis . That is why when its mentioned in seforim about the minhag of kaporas it says that the chicken needs a kashere shechita. (some people will redo kaporas if the chicken becomes a neveila, they don't have to. the chicken had a koshere shechita and they did what has to be done. they do it over because they don't know). If you shlog kaporas and then the chicken dies then you have to redo it, because the chicken did not have a koshere shechita.
The fact that sometimes they kashered the chickens and gave them to poor people has nothing to do with kaporas. It is an extra mitzvah, mitzvah of tzedaka that a person managed to chap arein erev yom kippur. 2 mitzvos with 1 bird. But it is not related at all to kaporas. It does mention in seforim to take the intestines and throw them up high for the birds to eat.
I beg you. Before you take the achroyas of others who will follow you, please learn why you do mitzvos or minhagim. If a person does not know why they do things they have 2 options.
1. Either learn or try to find out why you do it.
2. Or they know they dont know everything and say halacha lmoshe msinai. There must be a good reason, they are not learnt enough or privileged to know and do the mitzvah with tmimus.
To come off as if youre an expert or even know the reason and be mashchil people rachamana ltzlon. The fact that you wrote credentials as if people should listen to you because you are a shochet and they should follow suit is silly and wrong.
Do teshuva and if you need a chicken to awaken that teshuva, I guarantee you that chicken will not be baal tashchis
You are right that chickens have to be taken care of and handled with utmost care, as ch"v no one should be oiver on tzaar baalei chaim. But the whole nonsense of baal tashchis did not belong in the article.
The fact that you do it on money or that there is a heter to do it on money is when chickens are not available or if will effect the person. The reason again is when a person gives tzedaka it is a form of Teshuva (another post for another time) .
Wishing you a k'siva va'chasima tova. L'shana tova u'mesukah. Btov ha'nirah v'hanigla.
To COL . I am a big fan but to put up an article like this as if it is written by an expert, who has no idea about this topic is wrong. Minhag yisroel torah he. To ch"v cause or be a part of causing people erev yom kippur not to do kaporas is the wrong thing to do. Again like I mentioned if someone will get sick or become depressed by doing kaporas, speak to you rov. There is no mitzvah to publicize it either. But don't give false information to the public
(9/13/2017 2:50:15 AM)
22
ironic
it's very interesting that both the original article and this was written by someone with the last name that is very much linked to the theme. Sruli SCHOCHET and Eli SHECHTER who is a certified SOCHET.
Something tells me they are in this together as some comedy scene
(9/13/2017 3:01:37 AM)
23
Eli it's me again but I will keep it short this time
You should make an article before sukkos as follows
If you don't make jam out of your Esrog then it is baal tashchis.
How many Esrogim do you see get thrown in the garbage. An esrog is the same baal tashchis as a chicken. The esrog will come to taanos to hashem the same way the chicken will, if you didn't use it for a mitzvah.
I will just point out something for you as you are a shochet. When they cover the blood after the shechita and say the brocha of aal kisui dam. That brocha and responsibility belongs to the shochet. There is no obligation on the person. The only thing is that people like to get their moneys worth and chap arein mitzvos. #1 ask the shochet permission and #2 give the shochet a tip as he is giving away his mitzvah. ( give the shochet a tip regardless, as most don't get paid and the tips are their payment).
This is why baal toisef is assur.
Soon people will say if you don't do kisui daam then your kaporas was no good. Or it was baal tashchis.

Again plz ask the shochet permission, just don't ask him why we do kaporas. You might get an answer from a shochet like Eli (an expert in shechita, but not kaporas, because he does it on money)!!!

Disclaimer I use an Esrog. I don't shake on money
(9/13/2017 3:28:21 AM)
24
Great article
Well done. I, too, choose to do kapores on money instead of chickens for the reasons the author outlines.
(9/13/2017 6:27:46 AM)
25
CH Homeowner....
Excellent article. I began using money several years ago, and now feel even more sure that I made the right decision.
(9/13/2017 6:59:23 AM)
26
Thank you # 21, 22, & 23 also #14
This article is not written by a Rav ( a true halachic authority), but by a shochet, and is very misleading unfortunately to many.
(9/13/2017 7:21:01 AM)
27
Kaparos
Here where I live, we proudly kill 1,000's of chickens, I always do kaparos on chickens for myself and all my family members that @$ 18 a pop (that's what they charge) is almost $ 200 in chickens, now, I have never seen anyone eating those poor chickens, all I can tell you that all this, regardless the beauty of this minhag, is a many making opportunity for many, nothing to do with chessed or "kaparos" , just my opinion KVCHT
(9/13/2017 7:31:16 AM)
28
Dear Eli, please retract from you article
As a Shoceht who Shechted Kaporos in Crown Heights for many years who is involved today in writing a book about Tsae Ballei Chayim for gentiles, I would like to commend you on the many valid points you raised, but at the same time to totally denounce the many misinterpretation of facts which you have presented regarding Baal Tashchis, Tsar Ballei Chayim and Shechita from an Halachic standpoint, and then also most importantly, the total DISTORTION of facts about the Baal Tashchis which is being conducted with Kaporos today for example in Crown Heights.

The information you are giving is by long OUTDATED, and as a frum Yid you should verify the facts again and RETRACT from the OPEN MOTSEI SHEM RA which you have caused.

Ksiva Vechasima Tova.
(9/13/2017 7:55:09 AM)
29
#21
Whether or not burning of the korban is baal taschis is an irrelevant question and analogy, since explicit directions are given in the Torah to burn it---It's a d'oraisa. Kapporos is not. It is a minhag.
(9/13/2017 8:04:48 AM)
30
Sushi for the fast
Remember the story about the poor man who paid a lot for a fish erev Yom Kippur? Don't it on fish. Don't have to worry about shechting them. Just have to know how to clean them.
(9/13/2017 8:06:10 AM)
31
moshe der g
i quote from his article
"we have a responsibility to adapt the way we keep our minhagim "

that is the most damning thing i have ever heard from anyone .. he is advocating "adapting" maybe we adapt and dont do a bris because today ...... maybe we adapt and dont shecht at all because today ...........
torah is true forever !!!!!
our minhagim are true forever !!!!!!
we dont change !!!!!!
am yisrael chai !!!!!
(9/13/2017 8:08:36 AM)
32
Poor treatment of our chickens
It has upset me over the years how the chickens in Crown Heights sit in the heat and do not receive water. This should bring us to tshuva, if kappores doesn't. I even called a Rav!
(9/13/2017 8:27:19 AM)
33
BubbyBoca
Beautifully written! Opened my eyes and ❤ Yes this process of Kapppras is supposed to be personally relevant and offer a moment of true reflection...otherwise our lives become like a hectic slaughterhouse itself. An additional suggestion to execute in front of your children & to develop sensitivity in yourself as well...I believe it is important to treat the chicken as kindly as possible while in your own possession...I am conscious to never just swing our family chickens around wildly...rather the few extra seconds it takes to make the poor creature comfortable, to allow it's feet to rest calmly in the palm of your hands and to rotate the frightened animal above your head in this position can leave the deepest impression upon someone observing YOUR animal behaviors :-)
(9/13/2017 9:14:29 AM)
34
LA Chickens
The chickens in LA we're actually thrown out the past few years... They were not slaughtered in a sanitary condition, and therefore couldn't be processed.
(9/13/2017 9:25:23 AM)
35
I'm a sofer
But I coose not to wear tefilin, tzaar baalei chaim etc.

(9/13/2017 9:29:45 AM)
36
I for one
Would be wary of eating from this yorei shomayim's shechita
(9/13/2017 9:31:39 AM)
37
To number 15
Mendel feldman is by far the best. Also has hashgacha from badatz that everything is kashered. I think his website is kaporos.com.
(9/13/2017 9:31:46 AM)
38
We use fish
It's better to use fish than money.
Then you can put the fish in the freezer and cook it after yuntif when you have time.
(9/13/2017 9:47:46 AM)
39
death by 1000 cuts
death can be achieved by 1 stab, or by 100o minor cuts. this is the latter, our yidishkeit is under attack, now we must fight for all mitzvos, and yes even minhagim.
(9/13/2017 9:56:15 AM)
40
watch a video of the rebbe by the shechita
plz all readers. watch a video how the rebbe carries his chicken to the shochet. how the rebbe turns away his eyes by the actual shechita. how the rebbe covers the blood. it is a mitzvah that has to be done. no questions asked. minhog yisroel torah he. but it should be done with the most compassion.
(9/13/2017 10:27:15 AM)
41
Eli, Eli, Eli.
Eli, how unfortunate that you put yourself in a position that may C"V potentially cause even a single Yid to refrain from fulfilling the Minhag of Kaporos with a Chicken, Nebach.

My absolute intent is to attack the contents of the article and absolutely not the writer of the article.

Our sages tell us " " the end summarizes it all.

Our sages also tell us " ".

In the beginning of your article you set down the foundation that you are writing your opinion "As a certified Shochet", hence your knowledge and expertise in this matter.

At the end of your article you write "I personally do kaporos on money each year. I obviously have the chickens at hand, but I don't have the several hours needed to process them on Erev Yom Kippur."

Eli, I too am an "ordained" Rabbi. Does that make me a Rov to Pasken Shie'les? Does that give me the justification to exert my "Rabbinical" opinion on anyone? Of course not, even in my own home whenever a have a question I seek out my Rov. The only benefit - for which I am grateful to Hashem - that I have of learning Smicha, is that I am more cognizant to issues that may affect a Jewish home compared to someone else that may not realize that there is an issue to begin with.
So the fact that one is just a "Certified" Shochet, does not give him the expertise to mix into rabbinical issues and Minhagim that have been accepted by Yidden for many generations.

- (On a side note, the Halochos of Shchita are so intricate, that I remind you that one must review its Halochos at least once every month, that is true even for someone that is involved in Shchita every single day, how much more so for someone that shechts for "recreational" purposes only.) -

Most importantly, Yidden throughout the generation had at times been required to demonstrate actual Mesiras Nefesh in order not to miss out and be able to fulfill the Minhag of Kaporos and Davka on a chicken. When one declares that he generally does not fulfil the Minhag of Kaporos on a chicken because it is time consuming and cannot be bothered with it erev such a holy day of Yom Kippur, has absolutely no right to mislead people by giving an opinion as a "Certified Shochet" that does not shect for any reputable Hashgacha and cannot be bothered in any case to Shlog Kaporos on a chicken!!!!!!!!
You are more then entitled to do as you wish, but you are not entitled to mislead people in misrepresenting yourself, albeit in a most subtle manner.
As I said, you are entitled to conduct yourself in the manner you so desire, but a"Certified" Shochet, that is a well known animal (dog) lover, who lives privately on a farm and who has no time to be bothered to be Mekayem a Minhag B'yisroel - should not be giving opinios to people that are truly willing to be Mekayem Minhagei Yisroel to the best of their abilities, especially on Erev Yon Hakadosh.
I know you as a nice person on an individual basis, but I believe you have erred (as we all do) on this issue.
A Ksiva Vachasimo Tovah.
(9/13/2017 10:28:30 AM)
42
The Rebbe guides us
not people who write articles
(9/13/2017 10:32:10 AM)
43
to #31
regardless of if the specific suggestions in this article are correct, nevertheless, you point certainly does not represent the truth of torah. he's basically saying like this: everything needs to be based on torah, and certainly not be contrary to torah - where we don't know the makor of a minhag, it is certainly worthwhile to keep even if we don't know what its based on ; however, if something contradicts a Torah value, and its possible to say that those original rabbonim hundreds of years ago who agreed with a certain minhag would themselves possible have said otherwise if conditions were as they are today, maybe torah itself would say that in this set of conditions the minhag should not be followed

- just a thought
(9/13/2017 10:43:43 AM)
44
Chassidishe bachur
Go learn shulchan aruch, and study the chassidishe minhogim.
U need to sit more by farbrengens.
(9/13/2017 11:48:24 AM)
45
Article is misleading without proper rabbinic sources
The end of the article proves who the writer is. If he wrote that he still keeps the minhag of kaparos and does it the right way this article wold mean something to me but by him not keeping the minhag shows that he does not care about it
(9/13/2017 12:33:06 PM)
46
to #14
Please find a picture of the Rebbe MHM at Kapores.
The holds the chicken seemingly with the chickens comfort in mind. The sensitivity to the animal is wonderful to see in the picture.
(9/13/2017 12:56:49 PM)
47
agree with 36
i would never eat from eli''s shechita as this shows he lacks yirei shomayim which is the first thing needed to be a shochet. there are many ways to use the chicken aftrrwards. in la they have the health dept making it nearly impossible to kasher the chicken so they recycle them as use for animal food. but that has nothing to do with the mitzvah as #21wrote
(9/13/2017 1:17:35 PM)
48
Nameless critics
At least the author of this article wrote his name.
None of the commentators and complainers have the guts to write their names. That alone tells me who is willing to stand behind his words and ideas.
(9/13/2017 1:22:02 PM)
49
col
you make it seem like eli is an expert and a rabbinic authority. you are misinforming the community. there was no reason to write shochet. you guys took a big achrayos on yourself as people are being misled
(9/13/2017 1:24:52 PM)
50
Chicken handling
I am no animal lover, but I do know that the chickens are mistreated by the people who have no experience handling the chicken and they suffer needlessly, the chickens are usually shoved in and out of the crates very roughly because the people handling them have no experience handling the chickens, that must change quickly in order to avoid doing a
(9/13/2017 2:11:29 PM)
51
in this coming year
B"H
Can collive.com please have articles of these types of questions (this, tznius, etc.) answered by three prominent ravs instead of laymen?
(9/13/2017 2:38:23 PM)
52
Dear fellow Jews
PETA has its agenda and my Nefesh habahamis had its agenda: Don't inconvenience yourself, don't stick out among the goyim, don't make them look down on you, don't spend so much money, don't wake up so early, don't waste your precious time, etc.

But that's not always enough. Sometimes, in order to convince me to do or not do something, he will attempt to influence my way of thinking so I don't feel foolish when I listen to him. Often, it will come from a worldview from the secular society that slowly permeates my own worldview. Take the PETA protesters for example.Would anyone have thought all those years ago when they started bothering us on the streets of Crown Heights that our own people would be influenced by them? Did anyone stop coming to kaparos initially? But the seeds that they've sown all those years ago are finally taking root. It gives me the excuse that I need to rationalize taking the easier way out.

But how do I know that this is really coming from my nefesh habahamis; maybe I am much more enlightened and humane then my parents are?
This is the question I must ask myself: "is my avoidance of kaparos and my speaking out against it coming from the right place or not?" My bias usually influences the way I would answer such a question so I need to ask my Rav. Unless he tells me explicitly that it is okay to drop a minhag that my community has been doing for generations and to speak out publicly against it, I need to keep the status quo. How can I take the responsibility upon myself if even one Jew will become more lax in Torah, Mitzvos and minhagim through the security my bashing has provided? It is a responsibility one should not accept alone without consulting a Rabbinic Authority.

Let us all continue to enthusiastically continue our holy traditions and there is always the option of bringing some refreshments for your chicken. Their alleged lack of food and drink should not make is stay away from kaparos; rather we should come and feed them. Based on experience it may be worthwhile to feed them AFTER circling them around your head but it's up to personal preference.

Ksiva vachasima tova l'shana tova umesuka!
(9/13/2017 3:01:51 PM)
53
Anonymous Anonymous Anonymous 😇😇😇
So much criticism towards the author...zero names attached to these harsh comments...plain and simple: Intellectually dishonest . Never too late to have identified Scholars & Rabbis add their opinions or the Rabbonim a statement of strong instruction on how best to perform this Mitzvah. Consider an article on the COL platform a useful introduction for becoming better educated!
(9/13/2017 3:41:03 PM)
54
TO THE SHOCHET
I SYMPATHIZE WITH YOUR PAIN IN SEEING LIVING CREATURES MISTREATED. HOWEVER,I DO NOT AGREE WITH YOUR CONCLUSIONS, THE IDEAL REACTION OF THE READER SHOULD BE "WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE SURE THE CHICKENS ARE TREATED HUMANELY?" AND, EQUALLY IMPORTANT, "WHAT CAN WE DO TO ENSURE THAT THE CHICKENS ARE PROPERLY CLEANED, KASHERED AND DISTRIBUTED BEFORE YOM-TOV OR FROZEN FOR DISTRIBUTION AFTER YOM-TOV?" IF THIS MINHAG HAS BEEN PASSED DOWN THROUGH THE AGES THEN SURELY IT IS TOO CHASHUV TO DISCARD. WE JEWS ARE TRAINED TO THINK OF WAYS TO MAKE THINGS WORK EVEN UNDER DIFFICULT CONDITIONS. LET'S RISE TO THE CHALLENGE IN THIS SITUATION AS WELL. IT IS SURELY DOABLE AND WILL LEAVE THE RIBBONO SHEL OLAM PROUD OF HIS CHILDREN. KSIVAH VA'CHASIMMA TOVAH TO ALL.
(9/13/2017 3:58:54 PM)
55
a different perspective
Don't forget that when this custom was initiated the culture was that everyone had a few animals and a few chickens in the backyard they knew how to treat the animals and the chickens and they didn't have to be trucked in crowded crates for hundreds of miles in the hot weather, just something to keep in mind , the Torah emphasizes the severity of treating animals with cruelty
(9/13/2017 4:45:16 PM)
56
The Rebbe used chickens
why wasn't this mentioned in the article? We follow what the Rebbe does but this article does not even mention the Rebbe!
(9/13/2017 4:45:42 PM)
57
Agree with posting of # 51
wholeheartedly, A Gut Gebenched Yohr!
(9/13/2017 5:41:01 PM)
58
From the Author (Eli Shechter) to commenters and to #41
To all you who seem to think that i am denigrating the minhag.
Please note that the point of the article was to state that if you can find an "appropriate" place to do kaporos, then i encourage it and that we need to be mindful of the waste, and possible cruelty.

I did not say i was a Rav and i did not paskin halochot.
The only reason i mentioned that i was a shochet and farmer was to show that i do have some knowledge and experience in the raising and killing of chickens. Not (i repeat) as an authority on how you should do your own personal kaporos.

Commenter #41:
based on some of your comments, it seems that you know me personally. I invite you to call me and we can discuss this.

To sum it up:
1)Do kaporos on chickens if you can
2)Make sure the chickens are not wasted
3)Make sure the chickens are cared for whilst alive
4)If you have issues with this, talk to your local rav
(9/13/2017 6:42:20 PM)
59
Agree with 46
It is our minhog to use chickens and therefore we will.
But!
The Rebbe showed us how to hold a chicken. instead of holding it by its wings, HOLD THE WHOLE CHICKEN! why add to the suffering.
(9/13/2017 6:49:50 PM)
60
Am Ha'aretz
Kaparos is about Schechting the bird. That's it. By default, there's a necessity following the slaughter of ANY chicken on ANY day of the year that it not be wasted due to Ba'al Tashchis. If the person you entrust to use the chicken correctly will not do so, your Kaparos is unaffected. Does that mean you should refrain from doing it? Ask a Rav.
(9/13/2017 6:54:22 PM)
61
To #21,23,35,36 etc.
Baal tashchis, tzar Baal L'chaim are daarasyas as are esrog and karbonos. Kaporos is a minhag and should never be if it is bo' baveira. I have and plan to continue doing kaporos on chickens because it's an old minhag passed down generation to generation and should be continued until Moshiach comes. I hape your attitude does not make me cold to this minhag and C"V lead me to drop it at some point. Learn from 41 how to discuss this topic appropriately. If you don't you, not Eli, may be the ones leading people astray.
(9/13/2017 7:52:14 PM)
62
Concerned Crown Heightser
The fact that we have people coming to protest our religious rituals is so not good, there were last year crazy people yelling cursing and being very aggressive towards Jews who tried to do their Jewish ritual.
We should not have anyone here cursing at us in front of our little children for swinging chickens over our heads and doing ritual slaughter, they might as well go to any USA supermarket.
(9/13/2017 8:14:46 PM)
63
Tzaar balei chaim is deoraisa
Accoring to many opinions. Kaparos at best is a minhag. Please make sure you have your priorities set.
(9/13/2017 9:35:34 PM)
64
Thanks
Thank you for providing these words. There is universal acceptance that money is a proper substitute.
(9/13/2017 10:06:14 PM)
65
Scale
Aside from the Halachic and emotional aspects of this, Kapores is now an issue of scale.

There are too many items (chickens in this case) than are able to be processed, in time.

If this was a business and there were too many orders for merchandise etc. one would increase productivity in order to handle the extra load.

The same is here. The solution is not to "dispose" of the chickens that cannot be processed but to increase the capabilities to process them properly, in a kosher and humane manner.

Anyone who justifies or rationalizes "throwing out" the chickens after one has done the minhag is cold-hearted.

Besides ignoring the primary intent of the minhag - Teshuvah - which entails having greater sensitivity (eidelkeit and derher) in one''s own actions and approach to G-d and all His creatures (not least of which includes his fellow Yid)

The secondary intent is to have compassion on others, to provide the needy with food, especially before a major fast-day.

Having, this in mind, we should endeavor to process and kosher ALL the chickens, Period.

If we do this, we not only get the reward for keeping the minhag, we also get the reward of Tzedaka, and having compassion on our fellow Yidden.

In this merit, may G-d have compassion on us, to give us a good a sweet year in all physical and spiritual things

(9/14/2017 8:50:51 AM)
66
Unless you're a vegetarian it's a matter of faith
Unless you don't eat chicken than it's wether you believe in this practice or not. All that's being done is a blessing over a chicken , a symbolic swinging over your head , and it's taken to slaughter, what's done in chicken houses isn't any more humane. So if you continue eating chicken but have an issue with this practice than you have a real issue with the practices and beliefs of your community and family. I'm speaking to myself too since I have issues of faith and Was raised in this community .
(9/14/2017 12:23:33 PM)
67
To #21
You write very important points. Problem is it's a comment and many people don't read every comment. It seems many people are convinced from this article and may not be reading all the comments.
Please rewrite this (and touch up the grammar a bit so you don't get attacked) and send to collive as an op-ed in response to Eli shechters article.
(9/14/2017 9:48:13 PM)
68

. Rabbi Schochets points all override Elis. No one makes you use a chicken. We can improve but pls pls do not tamper with minhag yisrael kshaira.
(9/15/2017 12:52:10 PM)
69
TO 52
Don't worry about PETA, they have no legal standing.

In 1993, their was SC case; Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah

Read the court briefing it discusses animal killing for the sake of religious purposes.
(9/15/2017 1:14:45 PM)
70
Dear Eli,
Forgive me if I sound harsh, but there is something at stake here bigger than your feelings. You are not a Rov, and your expertise as a shochet are questionable by your own admonition of how difficult you find certain pertinent things are. A Gutten Shabbos Kodesh!
(9/15/2017 3:17:04 PM)
71

. Rabbi Schochets points all override Srulis. No one makes you use a chicken. We can improve but pls pls do not tamper with minhag yisrael kshaira.
(9/16/2017 9:44:35 PM)
72
"because the chicken may feel a tiny scrape"
I quote the article "a knife cannot even have a slight scratch on it because the chicken may feel a tiny scrape". I'm a shochet as well and don't recall it being mentioned in any source. It is a nice theory but isn't factually true. All hilchos schita are hinted in the torah in the posuk . The knife may not have the slightest scratch because that spot isn't cutting & thereby transgressing on one of the five hilchos schita. One should be skeptical of a shochet that isn't familiar with the basics.
(9/17/2017 2:58:10 AM)
73
To #s 61, and 69
To #61 the fact that you imply that you might stop using Chickens for Kapporos just because you do not like the attitudes of others who do it, does not sound like you have sincere reasons for posting your comment.
It sounds more like a political agenda then actual concern for how things are done.
It sounds like you are saying "You must do it my way, or I will take revenge on you, by not doing it anymore".
And taking personal revenge is no more kosher then anything you might be complaining about here.

To #69, it does not matter if PETA has no legal standing, them and other animal activists (including many who say they hate PETA) have caused the laws in America and in the world to become more and more in favor of treating animals better then humans are treated.
Hollywood actors have no legal standing either but their movies and attitudes and speeches have still vastly increased the amount of untznius and other anti Torah things that are considered 'acceptable' in politics and in the laws and in society, in general.
(9/18/2017 11:19:54 AM)
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