The Shmooze

Orthodox Lawmakers Ensure Animal Rights Legislation Doesn't Interfere with Kapparpot

By Nathan Jeffay

  • Print
  • Share Share

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.

Animal rights groups such as Tnu Lachayot Lichyot pushed hard for kapparot to be outlawed by the legislation, but committee chairman David Rotem gave instructions to list in the minutes that “the legislature approves the regulations, clearly acknowledging that they do not apply to the kapparot custom.”

This isn’t the first time that the parameters of animal welfare legislation have been determined by religious practice. Last year, lawmaker Ronit Tirosh, who is trying to ban fur in Israel, said she will tolerate rabbit and fox fur, because it is used to make the streimel hats worn by Hasidic men.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: knesset, kapparpot, animal welfare, orthodox, yom kippur

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.