Volume 19 • Issue 21 | October 6 - 12, 2006

Downtown Express photos by Clayton Patterson

Sin removal

Kapparot, a ritual performed by some Jews between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, was held on the Lower East Side in a parking lot across from the Seventh Precinct last week. The ritual is supposed to transfer a person’s sin to a live chicken — a rooster for a male, a hen for a female, preferably white, the color of purity — by swinging the chicken in a circle over the person’s head while reciting various selections from the Psalms and book of Job. Left, Rabbi Azriel Siff of Congregation Chasam Sopher on Clinton St. holds his daughter as Rachel Lazer swings a chicken. Right, a girl holds a hen. In the Lower East Side event, the chickens were not killed at the scene. However, some Jewish scholars have noted that Kapparot isn’t mentioned in either the Torah or the Talmud and have called it “foolish.”


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