Thursday, September 28, 2006

Virtual Kapparot Chicken!

In keeping with the holiday of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) I thought that you, my readers, needed this. As you may know, since the temple and altar are gone from the temple mount in Jerusalem, the ancient Jewish sages replaced the sacrifice with repentance, prayer, and good deeds, especially giving. One of the traditions--that few practice these days, I think--is the kapparot chicken ritual. Basically, you purchase a live fowl, and on the morning before Yom Kippur you wave it over your head, reciting a prayer asking that the fowl be considered your "kapparot"--atonement for sins. The practice of this ritual is truly "poultry in motion." The fowl is then slaughtered and given to the poor (or its value is given.) One can't help but wonder if some of the elements of blood sacrifice are intended in this ceremony, though modern rabbis deny this.
At any rate, you can now perform this ritual yourself on Yom Kippur with your very own virtual kapparot! Download it; print it out; paste it to cardboard; cut it out; perform the ritual; attach an envelope of money to your paper chicken, and give it to someone in need.
Will it atone for your sins? Probably not. Will it get you written into the Book of Life? Also, not likely. But if you know someone who could use the extra dough, this is a great day and great way to give it. Remember, Yom Kippur is Oct 2nd.

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