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Chabad Wins Kapparos Case in Federal Court

On Friday, May 12, U.S. District Court judge André Birotte, Jr. granted a legal victory to the Chabad of Irvine, California. The judge dismissed a lawsuit brought against them by animal rights activists, who sought to end the 1200-year-old Orthodox Jewish ceremony of Kapparos practiced by the synagogue on the eve of Yom Kippur.

Read the full order here.

“We are overjoyed that the judge saw the wisdom of protecting our ability to practice a cherished tradition of our faith,” Rabbi Alter Tenenbaum, the rabbi of the Chabad of Irvine, says. “We hope this victory will encourage everyone to live in peace and tolerance of everyone’s religious beliefs.”

The synagogue was represented in the legal case by international law firm WilmerHale and national religious freedom law firm First Liberty Institute.

“The court’s ruling sends a clear message – the law protects the rights of all Americans to practice their religious traditions in peace,” Matthew Martens, partner with WilmerHale and lead counsel for the synagogue, says.

“No one should attack a synagogue for peacefully practicing a tradition they’ve observed for over 1,000 years,” Hiram Sasser, Deputy Chief Counsel for First Liberty Institute and co-counsel for the synagogue, said. “This is a great victory, not only for the synagogue, but for all Americans who value our constitutional freedoms.”

4 Comments

  • 1. Milhouse wrote:

    “We are overjoyed that the judge saw the wisdom of protecting our ability to practice a cherished tradition of our faith,”

    This is bald-faced lie. The judge did nothing of the sort. He dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction, completely without regard to its alleged merits or lack thereof. We have no idea what he thinks of our traditions or our ability to practise them. All we know is that be believes running a religious program is not a commercial activity, even if it’s funded by donations, so long as nobody is paid to raise those donations.

    The court’s ruling sends a clear message – the law protects the rights of all Americans to practice their religious traditions in peace,” Matthew Martens, partner with WilmerHale and lead counsel for the synagogue, says.

    Another lie, and as a lawyer he should know better. Lawyers are not allowed to tell lies, especially about what a court has or hasn’t done. The only message the ruling sends is that before you bring a case to court you should check whether any law exists making it your business.

    Reply
  • 2. Anonymous wrote:

    Does this mean were freee fom the evil glares and videos and hollering peta gives us the past few yrs now. Will they be banned from botheri g us and harassing us.

    Reply
    • 3. Milhouse wrote:

      No, it has no connection whatsoever with the NYC case or dispute.

  • 4. As if wrote:

    Whatever ruling the judge handed down, it won’t stop these losers.

    Who paid Chabad’s legal fees? Can the judge make the wackos pay?

    Reply

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