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Activists Ask Manhattan Judge to Ban Kapparos

Lawyers for a group opposing the Jewish ritual of Kaporos were in a Manhattan court today, asking that a Superior Court judge put an end to the annual event not only because of they find it offensive, but due to the fact that it violates some 15 laws.

The NY Daily News reports that speaking on behalf of her clients who have brought suits against several rabbis and Yeshivas in Borough Park and Crown Heights over the makeshift Kaporos slaughterhouses, Attorney Nora Marino told Justice Debra James that her clients “are confronted with this horror every year, the stench, the litter, the filth, the flood, the feces, the feathers…”

Marino argued that Brooklyn residents face a potential health crisis of “epidemic proportions” if the 10-day event leading up to Yom Kippur is not nixed, while adding that event “violates 15 laws” health and otherwise.

David Jaroslwaski, who’s representing one the rabbis sued, Rabbi Shea Hecht, rejected Marino’s assertions, stating, “You don’t get sick from inhaling chickens.”

“This is make-believe mass hysteria about something that doesn’t exist,” Jaroslawski said.

James said she’ll rule Sept. 10.

73 Comments

  • 1. 156 wrote:

    they are also making violations of harassment and probably other violations as well.
    reminds me of the first time I ever heard the term
    “GET A LIFE”

  • 2. Uncle Mendel wrote:

    Maybe we should tell them it is really an African-American ritual. Than they would leave us alone.

    • 3. You are only part right wrote:

      Uncle Mendel, you are only part right:

      Regarding your first point: That is it is really a non-Jewish ritual — a good percentage of Rabbinic authorities agree about that. “Kapparot was strongly opposed by some rabbis, among them Nahmanides, Solomon ben Adret, and Yosef Karo. They considered it a non-Jewish ritual that conflicted with the spirit of Judaism, which knows of no vicarious sacrifice outside of the Temple in Jerusalem.”

      Regarding your second point, “Than* they would leave us alone”: Sorry you are completely wrong about that.

      * Note: Please learn English, the word you mean to use is “then” with an “e,” not “than” with an “a.”

    • 4. Milhouse wrote:

      Oh, please. You wouldn’t know “Nahmanides”, “Solomon ben Adret”, or “Yosef Karo” from Walt Disney. You have never read anything they have written, and wouldn’t even know how to find their works in a beis medrash. Nobody who actually famliar with them calls them by those names. Kaporos is not a non-Jewish ritual, and nobody has seriously suggested any such thing. It is a Jewish ritual with no foreign roots, and supported by the overwhelming majority of poskim. Besides, the Arizal supported it, and he got all his teachings from Eliyahu Hanavi, so it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thought.

    • 5. You are only part right wrote:

      Milhouse, you yourself are like a Walt Disney cartoon character. How can you so audaciously jump to such flippant, spiteful, sham allegations? If I would have written “Ramban, Rasba and Shulchan Aruch” would you be any happier? Yes I know where to find them in a Beis Medrash, and yes I have learned them, and yes I know that they were absolutely opposed the Kapores minhag and considered it non-Jewish “Darchei Emori.”

      This is common knowledge, and the sentence in my comment was simply copied and pasted from a widely referenced public webpage, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapparot, that reports the truth about these Rabbinic authorities’ disdain for the Kapores practice – and yes there are people very familiar with them who refer to them by those names.

      Meanwhile your insistence that “Kaporos is not a non-Jewish ritual, and nobody has seriously suggested any such thing,” is patently false. Please address the “Ramban,” “Rashba” and “Shulchan Aruch,” and other Rabbinic objectors to Kapores, which you feign to be so ignorant of and oblivious to.

      You obviously prefer fantasy and fairy tales and to evade truth and reality as much as possible, even to the point of outrageous lying to yourself and others. And please don’t be so delusional about the Arizal and Eliyahu Hanavi, who without doubt would completely renounce you and repudiate your approach, your despicable haughtiness, and your arrogant self-righteousness.

    • 6. K wrote:

      Milhouse, please do not lie! You wrote: “Kaporos is not a non-Jewish ritual, and nobody has seriously suggested any such thing.”

      Is the Rashba a “nobody”??? He writes it is a pagen custom and the Mechaber (another “nobody”) agrees with him (as do others).

      The Tshuvos HaRashba 395 writes:
      “Regarding the Kaparot custom which is performed on Erev Yom Kippur, I have found this to be the widespread custom in our city along with other things which seem to me are pagan customs; I have distanced this custom very much and I have ordered that it be nullified. Although I have heard that Rav Hai Gaon was asked about this [custom] and he replied that this was indeed the custom, I have nevertheless discontinued its practice.”

      This Rashba is adopted by the Mechaber who discourages the minhag.

      Yes, in support of the minhag, the Rama differs with the Mechaber and Askanazim follow the Rema, and yes there are many other sources for this minhag, but to say that “nobody” suggested kaoros comes from pagan ritual is a blatant lie.

      If you were to write the truth: There are some who consider it “minhag ha’amorim” – adopted from pagen ritual, but others encourage it. As in all areas of minhagim, one should follow his/her family’s traditional minhag.

    • 7. Ezra wrote:

      Anyone who has any familiarity with halachic literature, and who is seeking the truth rather than an agenda, knows full well that “darchei ha’emori,” the term that Ramban and Rashba use, does not mean “a non-Jewish practice”; the term for that is “chukos hagoyim.” It means “a forbidden superstitious practice” regardless of its origin.

      So no, the cited rishonim do not say that it is “really a non-Jewish ritual,” and I challenge the commenters who make this claim to find the non-Jewish antecedent for kapparos. You can’t, because it doesn’t exist.

    • 8. K wrote:

      Ezra – wow! How off can someone be??

      You try to make a lomdus from the diyuk in the terms: “darchei ha’emori” (used about kaporos) and “chukos hagoyim.”

      Let me try to keep this simple:

      ALL “superstitious practice” is non-Jewish ritual. The broad term chukas hagoyim includes all non-Jewish rituals. Some of which are superstitious.

      Since there is no “Jewish-based” darchei ha’emori, when the poskim write that it is “darchei ha’emori” it means that it is “a non-Jewish ritual”.

      If you are following this and are still with me –

      Your “challenge [to] the commenters (SIC) who make this claim to find the non-Jewish antecedent for kapparos. You can’t, because it doesn’t exist”, makes no sense in the world of intelligence!

      Did I lose you along the path of making sense?!

    • 9. You are only part right wrote:

      — K, Thank you for your support. I disagree only with your last sentence, “As in all areas of minhagim, one should follow his/her family’s traditional minhag” – however at the moment I don’t have time for a detailed reply.

      — Ezra, regarding the difference between “darchei ha’emori” and “chukos hagoyim,” thank you for pointing that out, but regardless of that distinction, it is anyway clearly true that “ha’emori” are “non-Jewish,” as I wrote above.

      Moreover, the distinction actually makes the objections to the Kapores ritual more severe, since it is not merely a non-Jewish custom – i.e., something that might otherwise be permitted but only due to its adoption by non-Jews it is disallowed – but it is much worse, “a forbidden superstitious practice” as you phrase it, and more accurately it is not just “superstitious,” but an “idolatrous” practice, and therefore completely prohibited according to the opinions of those authorities.

      Regarding your challenge to find the non-Jewish antecedent for kapparos, and your insistence that such antecedent doesn’t exist – you are wrong about that, and it is good for you not to have bet money on it. It is well known that similar sacrifices were done in ancient Persia and in other ancient cultures, and these things are still practiced around the world today in numerous places.

      Though presently I don’t have time to provide citations, one reference you can quickly check is the Mishna, Avodah Zorah bottom of 13b, and the continuation of the Gemora on the next Daf, which is brought as Halacha by Rishonim and Acharonim, which discuss the care one must have when selling white roosters to non-Jews because of their preference for using them as sacrifices to their idols.

      We need to stay far away from any involvement in those forbidden practices.

    • 10. Ezra wrote:

      No, K, you are wrong, and arrogant about your wrongness to boot. One example of darchei ha’emori given in Tosefta (Shabbos 7:9) is one that must necessarily have Jewish origins – המקדש בתרי (rolling dice or similar when performing kiddushin), given that kiddushin doesn’t exist among non-Jews. So yes, the rishonim cited chose their words carefully: kapparos has no non-Jewish antecedents (and you haven’t found any, your sneering notwithstanding), but it is (in their view) a superstitious practice.

      The situation here is very simple. You have such an utter and bottomless hatred for Chabad, and specifically some kind of personal animus against Milhouse (and no, I have no idea who he is or what your history is with him), which leads you to use your knowledge of Torah, such as it is, in support of our enemies, such as those who would ban a minhag Yisrael which is part of Torah. Take a little time for a cheshbon hanefesh and realize where your sin’as chinam is leading you.

    • 12. You are only part right wrote:

      Regarding “Chukos HaGoyim” and “Darchi HoEmori,” although there may be some slight differences between the connotations of these phrases, the bottom line is that they are very much intertwined and forbidden as part of the same Isur Mitzvas Lo Ta’ase (see Sefer HaChinuch Negative Command no. 30, and Rambam Sefer HaMitzvos Negative Command no. 31). They are both clearly and completely non-Jewish and either directly or indirectly involve false belief, superstition, magic and ultimately idolatry.

      It is absurd of anyone (Ezra) to not concede that idolatrous sacrifices of roosters and chicken were common ancient practices which are still ongoing today. There are even non-Jewish practices where a rooster is sacrificed for a male child and a hen for a female child. Those are the facts. It is absurd to try to pretend that there are no antecedents among non-Jews to the Kapores ritual with chickens. It is not necessary to be a scholar to know this as especially in recent years there have been numerous news articles that make the obvious connection between the Jewish practice of Kapores with chickens and the sacrifices of non-Jews.

      At the very least this is an extremely serious Maris Ayin problem, resulting in extremely serious Chilul Hashem, and one cannot simply hide one’s eyes and pretend that these extremely serious concerns do not exist and there is no need to address them.

      To conclude with a brief word to those who say that “it’s the Minhag and it cannot be changed”: Please think for a minute. Everyone agrees that during the time of the Torah, Nevi’im and Kesuvim, and during the time of the Mishna and Gemora, not one of our ancestors had a Minhag to do Kopores with chickens. There never was such a Minhag. Only much later did someone come along and start doing this, which itself was “changing the Minhag” of NOT doing Kapores with chickens. So who then is the innovator with strange new ideas and practices, very similar to those of idolaters, that our forefathers would never even remotely have considered?

      In previous generations where the Minhag of Kapores with chickens was practiced it was always done on a farm or in Shtetel-like environments, and not in modern city environments such as where most Jews live today. This distinction makes a world of difference, especially as the way it is practiced today it is impossible to avoid numerous other prohibitions, including Tzar Balei Chaim, Achilas Neveilos, and Baal Tashchis. With due consideration it is clear that the Minhag of Kapores with chickens should be discontinued.

      Such a change, which really is only a returning to our hallowed ways of old, will surely bring us another step closer to the Geulah and the binyan Beis Hamikdosh bimhara b’yomeinu.

    • 13. Ezra wrote:

      #12, by that logic korbanos in the Beis Hamikdash would be forbidden as chukos hagoyim. If you really are looking forward to the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash, then that argument just doesn’t hold water.

    • 14. replying.. wrote:

      To – “you are only part right” um.. the Rebbe did it – we do it!

    • 15. You are only part right wrote:

      Correction: In my above comment (posted in the wee hours of the night) I mistakenly referenced Sefer HaChinuch Negative Command no. 30 — the correct reference in Sefer HaChinuch is Mitzva 262 “U’b’chukosahem Lo Sa’la’chu.”

      Also I have seen brought from the Ran on Avodah Zorah 11a, that all of these Darchei Emori “have a connection to foreign worship” (“ובכולם יש סרך ע”ז”), and Rambam’s Moreh Nevuchim III, ch. 37, states: “Our Sages call such acts ‘the ways of the Amorite’; they are kinds of witchcraft, because they are not arrived at by reason, but are similar to the performances of witchcraft, which is necessarily connected with the influences of the stars; thus they lead people to extol, worship, and praise the stars.” Describing these things as “worship of stars” or “idolatry” are generic terms for any forms of “Avodah Zorah,” i.e., any “strange worship” that is clearly “non-Jewish” and absolutely forbidden for the Jewish people.

      Going back to the above comment of “Uncle Mendel” – “Maybe we should tell them it is really an African-American ritual” – as much as I disagreed with him, he is at least correct about the corresponding “African-American ritual” that he refers to, which indeed includes sacrificing chickens similar to the Kapores ritual. Ezra though pretends he is unaware of that. Maybe Uncle Mendel can explain it to him…

    • 16. K wrote:

      Ezra – you are a muchzak shakran (a proven liar)!

      On another thread you made claim that Chabad makes a leshev bsukka even in the rain – and even provided a link from Otzar Minhagei Chabad. That was proven a lie! See http://crownheights.info/videos/498416/video-jewish-boys-only-ones-to-help-spongebob/

      Know that you do not bring honor to Chabad when you lie or mislead.

      I admit that I have an “utter and bottomless hatred” BUT not for Chabad, or Milhouse, rather , to lies and misleading the public.

      Torah is emes.

    • 17. K wrote:

      Disagreeing with some comments does not mean that I have an “utter and bottomless hatred for Chabad, and specifically some kind of personal animus against Milhouse”.

      I am a beacon of truth in a sea of darkness. The perils of falsehoods and misleading needs to be revealed.

      The Torah is our light in the sea of aam haratzus fraught with perils of daas bal habayis and influenced with goyish hanochos.

      I dedicate maaser of my time to be marbitzTorah to the disadvantaged segments who do not know from right and left.

      I have invited Milhouse to join my chaburah and I will teach him – not because I of ahavas yisroel but spiritual tzeddakah and arvus.

      If he would learn Torah lishma with my chabura, after a few years he will gain a daas Torah and be able to share it with others.

      THe darkness of our golus needs the light of Torah and the input from people like me to share daas Torah with the masses.

    • 18. You are only part right wrote:

      Because I suspect Uncle Mendel may be a bit slow in explaining this to Ezra, and to interject a bit of humor into the discussion, here is fitting punch line I found to famous joke “Why did the chicken cross the road?” The funny/sad answer is given at http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2013/10/chickens-probably-cross-roads-to-escape-ritual-sacrifice/.

      The article there starts: “Have you ever noticed whenever someone brings up the subject of blood sacrifice the first animal nominated for death is the chicken? I hate starting this piece out with a question framed in such a Seinfeldian way, but to date that’s been my observation, and I’ve always wanted to know why these birds are so often singled out as a substitute wrath bearer in so many different religions around the world. So I fired up my magic box of digital divinity, and ritualistically stroked its keys until the answer was revealed. It turns out a Jerry Seinfeld reference is relevant in more ways than just my need to make an observational statement. Practitioners of Santeria, Voodoo, Judaism, and many more, make use of chicken sacrifices for varying reasons. Some faiths make use of the practice frequently, while others, like Judaism, only ritualistically kill chickens during specific holidays.” The article goes on, with pictures, comparing Judaism to various other religions.

      In all seriousness and honesty, I personally have numerous times in public parks and other places come across the remains of such Voodoo/Santeria chicken sacrifices. Certainly many in the Jewish community have seen similar remains. It is not a pretty sight, and in the eyes of very many people the Jewish Kapores custom with chickens is in some ways even many times worse.

      The Minhag clearly does way more harm than good and it needs to be stopped as soon as possible.

    • 19. You are only part right wrote:

      Ezra, #13, wrote that based on my logic “korbanos in the Beis Hamikdash would be forbidden as chukos hagoyim.” This is a ridiculous statement, especially from one such as Ezra who should know better, since the Gemora and Poskim make it very clear that prohibitions based on ‘chukos hagoyim’ and ‘darchei hoemori’ certainly do not apply to Mitzvos and practices that are directly stated in the Torah.

      Sadly Ezra and many others are so confused that they relate to this Kapores minhag with chickens as if it were a Torah based Commandment. Please pay attention, it is NOT stated in the Torah. It is NOT stated in the Mishna. It is NOT stated in the Gemora. It is NOT rooted in our original Jewish Mesorah.

    • 20. You are only part right wrote:

      Non-Jewish sources for the Minhag of Kapores with chickens, and even for the earlier Minhag of using plant seedlings for a similar Kapores ritual, are at least briefly mentioned in the Jewish Encyclopedia, http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/9204-kapparah:

      “Another and apparently an older practice in geonic times was that of planting beans or peas in palm-leaf baskets for each child in the house two or three weeks before the New-Year. Then on the day before New-Year the children would swing the baskets containing the ripened plants around their heads three times, saying, “This be in lieu of me; this be my substitute and my exchange,” and would then throw them into the water (Rashi, Shab. 81b). This is obviously a survival of the pagan rite connected with the so-called “Adonis gardens,” Ἀδώνιδος κῆποι = “niṭ’e na’amanim” (Isa. xvii. 10; see Marti’s and other commentaries). In Solomon b. Adret’s time the kapparot ceremony was performed for the youths only (see “Bet Yosef,” l.c.). According to S. I. Curtiss, “Primitive Semitic Religion To-Day,” p. 203, Chicago, 1902, the Moslems of the villages of the Syrian desert still sacrifice a cock for each new-born son and a hen for each daughter born.”

      It is clear that these Kapores Minhagim have non-Jewish roots and are forbidden due to being Darchei HoEmori, as the Shulchan Aruch ruled. It seems clear that the Ramo and other Geodim who sanctioned these Minhagim were not fully aware of the connections to Darchei HoEmori, and if they would have understood these connections better they never would have endorsed or permitted these practices. Now that we have this knowledge it is incumbent on us to take corrective measures and to abolish these errant Minhagim.

    • 21. Milhouse wrote:

      K, I hate to break to you (no I don’t), but Chabad does make leshev basukka even in the rain. This is a Lubavitcher site, so everyone here knows it, and can see what a fool you are to deny it. Ezra was 100% correct, and the link he provided you gives more than 3 pages of sources supporting this minahg. You were simply too lazy to read it.

      But the mere fact that this is what we do, and that the Rebbe explicitly instructed it, doesn’t need 3 pages of sources; that is to be found on the previous page, page 302.

    • 22. Milhouse wrote:

      1. Darchei Ho’emori does not mean a custom that comes from goyim; it means a baseless superstition. Even if Jews invented something, if it is superstitious and has no truth to it then it’s Darchei Ho’Emori.

      2. In the case of kaporos, none of the rishonim claimed that it was of goyishe origin, but rather that it’s a superstition.

      3. However these few rishonim who criticized it lived before the AriZal, and did not know his teachings. Now that Eliyohu Hanovi taught the Ari, and he revealed those teachings to the world, we know better than them. The AriZal endorsed kaporos, and since everything he taught was what he heard from his rebbe Eliyohu, we know that this holy minhag comes from Above. Therefore nobody nowadays has the right to dispute it.

    • 23. You are only part right wrote:

      Milhouse wrote: “1. Darchei Ho’emori does not mean a custom that comes from goyim; it means a baseless superstition. Even if Jews invented something, if it is superstitious and has no truth to it then it’s Darchei Ho’Emori.”

      — Please provide a source, this sounds like something you are making up on the spot, but in any event Jews are forbidden to be superstitious in these ways, i.e., it is “non-Jewish” to be superstitious and to invent such superstitious “Segulos” or “Minhagim.”

      “2. In the case of kaporos, none of the rishonim claimed that it was of goyishe origin, but rather that it’s a superstition.”

      — Again this is your take on it, which is unsupported by any sources or by the facts. In any case, it indeed resembles the chicken sacrifices performed by non-Jews as part of their false religions, and indeed it is perceived as such by just about all non-Jews who encounter it. And you have still completely failed to address the extremely serious Maris Ayin and Chilul Hashem concerns.

      “3. However these few rishonim who criticized it lived before the AriZal, and did not know his teachings. Now that Eliyohu Hanovi taught the Ari, and he revealed those teachings to the world, we know better than them. The AriZal endorsed kaporos, and since everything he taught was what he heard from his rebbe Eliyohu, we know that this holy minhag comes from Above. Therefore nobody nowadays has the right to dispute it.”

      — That is simply another of your exaggerated fairy tales, and as you know there are numerous things in which we do NOT Pasken like the Arizal, even Chabad. Meanwhile according to Chazal everyone, Moshe Rabbeinu, Eliyahu Hanavi and the Arizal included, has made mistakes. Get real please.

    • 24. Milhouse wrote:

      I see you are simply kofer in the Arizal’s teachings, so there is nothing more to talk about.

  • 25. Supreme Court wrote:

    New York doesn’t have Superior Court Judges. It has Justices of the Supreme Court. This should have been heard in Brooklyn, not Manhattan.

    • 28. You are only part right wrote:

      “Compromise,” your suggested solution is at least a step in the right direction. Better would be to put the “building” outside the city, and make it a regular slaughterhouse that is at least partially equipped for this butchery.

  • 30. peta kills wrote:

    google peta kills animal to see what kind of hypocrites they are
    standing with their stupid signs and yelling about animal cruelty to get attention for peta yet they dont tell the world of all the animals that they are killing and throwing out in garbage bags-check it out

  • 31. Ch resident wrote:

    This whole story is rediculous. On Labor Day when on the entire eastern parkway is full of stench ,filth and garbage. People are selling food with no running water to wash their hands and the garbage is knee deep. Where are the voices against this. Nowhere.
    Let them get the facts straight.
    Kapporos will outlive these people.

  • 32. AIDS!!! wrote:

    Isn’t it true that AIDS is most prominent in the “LGBT”
    community? So, make those activities illegal for health’s sake.

  • 33. DL Wagshul wrote:

    Interesting that we have been doing this for hundreds of years and no one got sick! Let them use their energy for something more productive!

  • 34. K wrote:

    Many Rishonim and Acharonim point out a particular halachic danger that arises regarding Kaporos.

    Since many people would perform this ritual, if everyone tried to do it on erev Yom HaKippurim there was a fear that those doing the slaughtering would eventually grow weary and would be less than careful in the act of shechita.

    Since it is very easy to do an improper shechita (but not always so easy for the untrained individual to realize that such a thing has happened), there was a worry that people would wind up eating chickens which had not been slaughtered properly.

    As a result, the Sdei Chemed, Pri Megadim, Rav Chaim Falagi, and others all noted that one can do Kaporos during the entire aseres yemei tshuva.

    • 35. Milhouse wrote:

      This was a problem that applied then. It does not apply now, when not only are the shochtim vetted for yir’as shomayim, but there are also careful mashgichim over the shechita, checking the chalofim and making sure everything is kosher.

    • 36. You are only part right wrote:

      Again nice wishful thinking Milhouse. There are still many serous animal cruelty and Tzar Balei Chaim problems everywhere this is practiced, which also clearly negatively impact the Kashrus, and numerous Shechita problems that still occur as well, even in the best supervised locations in the city where this is done.

      There are also, as listed in the lawsuit, numerous violations of the civil laws that this entails, and it would be best for everyone if the judge in this case, and of course the Judge of the world, would intervene and put an end to this clearly problematic practice. .

    • 37. Milhouse wrote:

      There are no problems. Tzaar Baalei Chayim is not an issue when something is done for a reason; the issur is only on torturing animals for the purpose of getting sadistic pleasure from their suffering, and that is simply not happening. On the contrary, everything reasonable is done to minimize the chickens’ suffering.

      And no, there are no shechita problems. The mashgichim are vigilant and make sure all is good. You are simply making up problems that don’t exist.

      As for the civil law, the city is not protesting, so it doesn’t matter. These busybodies have no standing, and any honest judge will dismiss the case with sanctions against them for interfering in something that is none of their business.

  • 38. K wrote:

    Kaporos for a pregnant woman:

    Mordechai writes that a pregnant woman should use three chickens – one for herself, a chicken in case the child is a female, and a rooster in case it is a male.

    I add comment: With modern technology such as ultrasound, this may change, in that perhaps a woman who already knows the gender of the baby only has to take one bird, appropriate to the gender of the child.

    He then goes on to say that if a woman is pregnant with twins that does not affect how many chickens she uses! So, no, a pregnant woman with twins does not use five chickens!!

    However, Maharil argues on the Mordechai and claims that a pregnant woman only uses two birds – one chicken and one rooster. This way, if the baby is female then it mother and daughter share the chicken, and if it is male, then the rooster comes into play.

    Men or bochurim in a group often use one chicken for all – this follows the logic of Maharil.

    • 39. Milhouse wrote:

      The Maharil’s psak is all very well, but the Alter Rebbe paskens explicitly in the Siddur like the Mordechai, that a pregnant woman needs 3. ואין אחר דברי המלך כלום.

  • 41. You are only part right wrote:

    Regarding the extra chickens taken for a pregnant woman to supposedly atone for the as yet unborn embryo – can anyone explain what possible sins the as yet unborn baby might have that require atonement? Is there any source that deals with this question?

    • 42. Milhouse wrote:

      The baby may have sins from his previous gilgulim, especially nowadays when almost everybody is a gilgul, and it’s very rare to have a new neshomo come down.

      Or it could have been decreed that the baby only has a short time to live, and by doing kaporos this decree may transfer to the chicken and the baby may be granted a long life.

    • 43. You are only part right wrote:

      Milhouse, your reply is appreciated, however you did not provide any sources, and IMHO your reply does not make any sense. The question is not just regarding unborn infants, but also regarding babies and children under the age of punishment, and seemingly they do not need a “Kaporah,” as this is called, despite what you speculated about sins from previous gilgulim and possible decrees that this might avert.

      Also it is emphasized in Seforim, as I’m sure you are aware, and IIRC you too have explained this way in previous years, that the essential idea of doing the Kapores ritual with chickens is so that we should contemplate that this killing really deserves to be done to us for our sins and this ritual helps us to do Teshuva, and it is the Teshuva that produces the Kaporah. However an unborn fetus or a baby not only has no sins needing “atonement,” but they also are obviously not able to realize any of this ritual that is going on around them, and they are incapable of doing Teshuva, and thus it comes out that the entire ritual that is done for them is strictly because it is seen as strictly a magical transformation of some kind. This appears to be completely forbidden.

      Obviously too there are numerous instances where the desired results of the ritual do not pan out as hoped for, and the adults, children and unborn fetuses R”L die despite the ritual being done for them – i.e., we plainly see that the ritual simply does not work, and therefore it appears to be a fraud.

      Please explain if you can.

  • 44. You are only part right wrote:

    #14 “replying” wrote what is probably on the minds of most Lubavitchers, “um.. the Rebbe did it – we do it!”

    Part 1.

    BDE. The Rebbe zt”l is no longer physically with us here in this new generation, as it is more than 21 years since Hashem elevated him to His heavenly academy, but we still take inspiration from the Rebbe and from his tireless perusal of truth, justice and peace. In the words of the prophet Zecharya (8:16, brought in Pirkei Avos end of ch. 1), “These are the things you shall do: Speak each man with his fellow the truth, and with a judgment of peace deliver verdict in your gates.”

    The Rebbe zt”l would want us to examine this issue honestly and judge in a manner promoting peace in our midst. Zecharya continues (8:17), “Let no one devise evil in your hearts against his fellow, and an oath based on falsehood have no love for; for all these I hate, says Hashem,” and that too is applicable for our discussion:

    We have clear evidence today that the Shulchan Aruch was correct when he ruled that the Kapores Minhag with chickens is Darchei HoEmori and prohibited, and that authorities like the Ramo and Arizal were mistaken when they encouraged this practice in their jurisdictions. It is equally certain that we are obligated by “oath” to follow the customs of our fathers and our Rebbe zt”l, however when it is discovered that a particular oath and custom is based on falsehood we have to recognize that fact and relinquish that particular oath, and not to cling to it out of misplaced feelings of love and loyalty. In our religion even the greatest leaders, including even Moshe Rabbeinu and every Nosi throughout the generations, is able to admit that he is wrong and concede that the other party is correct, and we must abide by the truth and not persist in doing what is hateful to Hashem.

    Not long ago on this CHI website there was discussion of the Menorah and the shape of its branches, whether they extended from the central column in a curved or straight manner. In the comments there, http://crownheights.info/chabad-news/486288/rav-chaim-kanievsky-menorah-was-not-round/#comments, our friend Milhouse initiated the discussion in comment #1 with his acknowledgement that the archaeological evidence today is overwhelming that the Menorah in the Beis HaMikdosh had curved branches. When another commenter, #10, very agitatedly challenged him about this, “I take in disgust your public question of the Rebbe, as if you know as much as he,” nevertheless Milhouse, in reply #11, stood firm, “The truth is the truth, and is no respecter of persons…,” and in comment #12 he continued “This shows that the Rebbe was unaware of the archaeological evidence that exists for rounded (but not semi-circular) arms, completely independent of Titus’s arch.” Milhouse is indeed to be commended for the stand he took in that matter and I applaud him for doing so. We must be able to deal with the issue of the Kapores issue in the same way.

    [To be continued.]

    • 45. Milhouse wrote:

      First of all, stop talking about “our Rebbe”. He was not your rebbe. You are not a chossid, and you don’t care at all what the Rebbe did or didn’t do, so stop pretending.

      Second, what you write is nonsense for one simple reason: Nothing has changed in the past 20 years. Kaporos is exactly the same, no new discoveries have been made, whatever we know the Rebbe also knew, and we all saw him do kapporos as a matter of course.

      For that matter, nothing about kapporos has changed in the 200+ years since the Alter Rebbe paskened in the siddur to do it. No new discoveries have been made, there is nothing we know about it that the Alter Rebbe didn’t.

      This is not a matter of historical fact, but of whether a practise is effective lema’aloh or not, and it’s indisputable that the AriZal, the Alter Rebbe, and our Rebbe, were all experts on this subject, while you are very much not. They all knew what happens Above when someone does kaporos on a chicken, and they approved and endorsed it, and that really is the final word on the matter. Especially since the AriZal’s teachings were all directly from his rebbe, Eliyohu Hanovi.

    • 46. You are only part right wrote:

      Milhouse, your blanket statements are mistaken and wrong, and either display ignorance or are deliberate Kefira against Halacha, where the concept of “Maris Ayin” is well known and very clear. We are obligated to be sensitive and concerned about what others think, and we are required to even change our behavior, customs, and certain Halochos because of how they may be perceived by others. Look it up and change your ways accordingly.

      Regarding what you wrote above #24, “I see you are simply kofer in the Arizal’s teachings, so there is nothing more to talk about,” and what you wrote above in #45, “First of all, stop talking about “our Rebbe”. He was not your rebbe. You are not a chossid, and you don’t care at all what the Rebbe did or didn’t do, so stop pretending…”: It is obvious you have nothing to answer so you resort to name calling and saying you don’t have to discuss it. Well first of all, what about trying to answer for the sake of the other readers, and secondly, also important, if you really are a Chossid as you claim, then why don’t you try to enlighten and Mekarev me? Simply tossing out insults and then not answering presents a poor image of yourself and Chabad, and will only likely distance many more people from the ways of Chassidus.

      Regarding what you wrote above in #45, “Nothing has changed in the past 20 years… nothing about kapporos has changed in the 200+ years since the Alter Rebbe paskened in the siddur to do it…”: Your statements are idiotic and do not relate to the real world.

      Best wishes for a meaningful Chai Elul to you, to the readers, and to the staff of CHI.

  • 47. You are only part right wrote:

    Part 2.

    Additionally we must realize how things have changed from when the Minhag originated, from the way things were when the Rebbe performed the Minhag, to the way things are now in our times today. The earliest sources of the Kapores minhag with chickens, state that only the holiest elders of the community performed it. As cited in the Jewish Encyclopedia entry on Kapores mentioned above, http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/9204-kapparah: “Sacrificed by an Elder. …it is stated by the Geonim (quoted by Asheri on Yoma viii., No. 23)… that originally a “sheliaḥ” (=”an elect officer of the community”) officiated as the atoning priest at the ceremony. Accordingly a saint or elder of mystic power is still recommended for the purpose in “Kol Bo,” lxviii.”

    Originally one bird sufficed for an entire community, then as time passed the practice expanded, first to each extended yeshiva and family, then a separate bird was taken for males and females, then extra birds for each adult, and then more birds for each child, and then more birds for even unborn fetuses, and the for the unborn even taking two birds became required.

    At first chickens born and bred directly in Jewish homes and in their yards, that the Jews fed on a daily basis, that were anyway going to be killed and eaten, were taken to be used for the ceremony, but in today’s day and age industrially grown chickens are used, chickens that have no meaningful human contact, and have to be locked into crates and trucked long distances to reach the Jews in crowded cities, where it is likely the only time in the year they will even see a live chicken.

    [To be continued.]

  • 48. You are only part right wrote:

    Part 3.

    As much as the custom changed over time within the Jewish community, the way it was perceived by the non-Jews around us has also changed. First all societies around us were themselves slaughtering animals and chickens from their home environments, perhaps even more than the Jews, and cockfighting was an esteemed sports. Today’s society is different, animal slaughter is generally not done inside cities where the bulk of the people live, where there are laws regarding cleanliness and decorum that never existed in previous generations. In recent times in the civilized world animal rights have advanced, cockfighting is outlawed, and mistreatment of animals is not tolerated and this is enforced by law. We are commanded to abide by the laws of the lands we live in, and the laws are to be respected and upheld.

    In the Rebbe’s time there were no real objections being voiced to the slaughtering of chickens for the Kapores custom. There were no protests. There were no lawsuits. Then there was peace with regard to this custom. Then there were relatively few people doing the ceremony, few locations where slaughtering was done, and relatively few chickens were mishandled and killed. Now, 21 years, an entire generation later, all the numbers have increased, and the ritual has received sensational coverage in the media, and now with all the spontaneity and imminence the internet and other developments provide. Now there are protests. Now there are lawsuits. Now there is no peace. Now things must change, and there are precedents for such change in Halacha. Now we must realize that the true Kaporah comes only from Hashem, and not from swinging and killing chickens which was never commanded by Hashem and instead can now be clearly recognized as Darchei HoEmori.

    Rabbosai it is clear how we must deal with the present matter, and similarly with regard to other serious divisive controversies. If we do the right thing, and follow in this way that the Rebbe zt”l taught us to strive for truth and peace, we will certainly merit more quickly to see the fulfillment of the verses that follow in Zecharya (8:18-19), `Thus says Hashem Tz’vko-os: The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful seasons, therefore truth and peace shall you love.”

    • 49. Milhouse wrote:

      You don’t know anything about what the Rebbe taught us. The most important thing the Rebbe and all his predecessors taught us is NISHT NISPOEL VEREN FUN DI GOYIM. The more they protest, the more we must ignore them. We have no right to change even a small detail of an unimportant minhag, just because the goyim don’t like it.

      We believe in Lechatchila Ariber, doing the right thing in the most straightforward way, and those who don’t like it are not tofes mokom. Just as the Frierdiker Rebbe faced his interrogators and refused to concede to them even the smallest point, even to the point of insisting on being addressed by his Czarist title, we must be the same, not making even the tiniest concession to the opposition. Vecha’asher ye’anu oso, ken yirbeh vechen yifrotz.

    • 50. You are only part right wrote:

      My recent comment, already posted a bit above, about Milhouse’s “blanket statements” and the need to be concerned about Maris Ayin – and how much more so when it involves behavior that causes a Chilul Hashem – and including my best wishes for a meaningful Chai Elul, was meant to go here in reply to Milhouse’s “NISHT NISPOEL VEREN FUN DI GOYIM” comment – which although I recognize is a quotation and sentiment from our Rabbeim zt”l, however I believe it is horribly misapplied in regard to the present controversy.

      Sholom U’Brocha.

    • 51. You are only part right wrote:

      Another point of clarification:

      As I explained above, Milhouse is wrong with regard to the “Nisht Nispoel Veren Fun Di Goyim” quotation from our Rebbeim zt”l, since it cannot be applied to the present discussion where we have clearly legitimate Maris Ayin and Chilul Hashem concerns. Similarly with regard to statements of our Rabbeim zt”l about the greatness of the Arizal and all his teachings being from Eliyahu Hanovi: These and similar statements are clearly exaggerations and were never intended by our Rabbeim to be taken 100% literally, and Milhouse is wrong to so flippantly dismiss anyone as a “kofer” for not accepting his incredibly doctrinaire interpretation.

      Anyone with more than a kindergarten level of understanding should have no problem readily grasping this, especially since the Torah and our Sages past and present frequently “speak in the language of man” and make exaggerated statements to emphasize various things, and especially when something they say is contrary to logic and/or contrary to other statements that are made, and Jews, “a wise and understanding people,” certainly recognize or should recognize that these are simply embellishments intended to stress certain points, but obviously cannot be taken literally.

    • 52. Milhouse wrote:

      That all the Arizal’s teachings were from Eliyohu is not an exaggeration. That is what our rabbeim have taught us. Indeed, the Alter Rebbe wrote that this was the GRO’s big mistake; that the GRO thought only some of the Arizal’s teachings were from Eliyohu, and some were his own sevoroh. That is why the GRO held of tzimtzum kipshuto ch”v. But he was wrong, they are all from Eliyohu.

    • 53. replying.. wrote:

      Wow! to you are only part right- i will repeat : the Rebbe did it – we do it! now you explained yourself that since pple are protesting about it then its wrong and there must be a change. the yevonim said that, haman said that, the nazis said that etc… so please i beg correct your own “torah” that you made up. thanks and hatzlacha! may Hashem guide you!

    • 54. You are only part right wrote:

      Milhouse, since you are such a stickler that every Minhag of the Arizal must be strictly kept, why are you not wearing all white garments on Shabbos as the Arizal did? I could go on and on. The bottom line is that you have complete “tzimtzum kipshuto” of the mind, and that you are an utter fake, phony and fraud.

    • 55. You are only part right wrote:

      Dear “replying”: First of all, it is not just because “people are protesting” that “it’s* wrong and there must be a change.” People are not just protesting, they are also filing lawsuits and the flames of anti-Semitism are being fanned and R”L explosions are brewing – and all for the sake of a much disputed Johnny-come-lately custom not mentioned in Tanach, Mishna or Gemra, that is tainted by paganism and that is done now in ways completely different than it was in previous generations. Thus it is not at all like the decrees of the Yevonim, Haman and the Nazis Y”S, that you mention, or the Czarist decrees that Milhouse mentioned, which were against essential Mitzvos of the Torah and the entirety of Jewish identity and life.

      Further, the protests and lawsuits over the Kapores with chickens are only because it is being done in the public streets where it absolutely does not belong. If it would be done at an officially recognized slaughterhouse or even discretely in private places then there would certainly be next to no commotion and controversy about it, and you would be left in peace to Shlug as many chickens as you wish for what you perceive as a religious ritual.

      In previous generations the slaughter of chickens was not done in the public city streets with throngs of people and blood and guts being spilled all over. This way of doing it is in essence already a major change from the way the Minhag was done years ago. Why do you insist on changing the Minhag and performing it publically and brazenly in the streets as it never was done before? Can’t you see that this is extremely callous, rude and completely intolerable?

      Haven’t you ever heard of the concept of “Hatznei’ah Leches Im Elokecho”? Why must it be so out in the open, in your face, against the sensitivities and feelings of others, Jews and non-Jews alike, who are disgusted and revolted by this bloody practice being forcefully done against their will in their neighborhoods? What ever happened to respecting Kovod Habrios, and scores of other Torah directives that are being violated and trampled upon all in the name of this extreme fanaticism?

      Please rethink this matter carefully. We do not need this disputed Minhag with causing pain to and killing chickens, especially in the new and revolting way it is being done now n city streets, in order to merit to Brocha and Hatzlach. May Hashem guide you to understand and to do the right thing, which is to abandon this disgraceful, brazen, and bloody ritual.

      [* Note: A contraction, i.e., using “it’s” as shorthand for the two words “it is,” as you intended in this sentence, requires a hyphen before the letter “s.” When “its” is intended as a word indicating possessive, e.g., “the city enforces its laws,” then no hyphen is used, just as the possessive word “his” does not have a hyphen.]

    • 56. replying.. wrote:

      To you are only part right: you “claim” the lawsuits are only against kaparos bec. its done in public. WRONG! whats with all the protests against bris milah, shechita and i could add menorah candle lighting -the whole city can be on fire c”vs etc… the yetzar hara starts with one and moves to the next. the yevonim or nazis did it in one shot. but today they can’t really do it so open so they do it “underground” bit by bit, yet the intention is the same! in the shtetles they had no problem with it because they were normal people. when you have abnormal people everything is a problem!

    • 57. You are only part right wrote:

      To “replying”: Again you are only part right, for while it is correct that “when you have abnormal people everything is a problem,” however you are wrong in that it is not those protesting the slaughter of thousands of chickens in the city streets who are the “abnormal” ones, rather it is those who insist on continuing to do so who are being “abnormal.” Your irrationality is overwhelming:

      Why do you continue to conflate the controversial chicken Minhag with Mitzvos like Bris Milah, Shechita and Menorah lighting, which are on a totally different level?

      Why do you exaggerate so much about protesters having worries that “the whole city can be on fire” from lighting Menorahs? Absolutely nobody says that. Meanwhile it seems you are even attacking the Yeshivos and Mosdos that do not allow Menorah lighting in their dorms and other areas. Since they prohibit the performing that precious Mitzva in any way that one pleases does that automatically mean they are fighting a war to the death against the Jews and the Torah?

      How can you accuse those opposing the chicken Kapores ritual as having the very same intention as the Yevonim or Nazis, C”V, especially since among the ranks of the protesters are numerous Frum Yidden who agree that the ritual especially as it is being practiced today has to be stopped? According to you do the words “Yemach Shemom” also apply to these Frum protesters? Why are you conjuring up such extremely unfair and false comparisons and gravely misusing holocaust imagery? Why are you being so outrageously foolish and fanatical about this?

    • 58. You are only part right wrote:

      Other Arizal customs that Lubavitch does not follow, in addition to wearing only white clothing on Shabbos, and complete avoidance of wearing black, include specifically going outside to the fields for Kabbolas Shabbos, and specifically using 12 Challos for the Shabbos meals. Certainly the Arizal’s minhag was not to wear a “Kappota” of any color, and he (and all Chabad Rebbeim up to the Rebbe zt”l) certainly never had a custom to wear a “Borsalino” or anything like it.

      Also while much of the Alter Rebbe’s siddur is based on the Nusach Ari, however it is also compiled based on rulings and compositions from various other sources. The Alter Rebbe acknowledged this by entitling his work “Al Pi Nusach Ari,” meaning “according to the version of the Ari,” and it differs by incorporating some features of the Ashkenazic rite and some meditations from the Siddur of R’ Shalom Sharabi. Also the Alter Rebbe made changes to the Kesav Arizal for writing holy scrolls.

      Milhouse, being of a scholarly bent, surely is aware of many more such differences, or he can surely easily look them up, except the only problem is that he is so challenged by his cognitive dissonance. Maybe someday he’ll grow out of it and thereby instead of being a hindrance and actively misleading others he would surely be of much greater benefit to the entire community…

    • 59. You are only part right wrote:

      Regarding the absolute authority Milhouse ascribes to the Arizal, R’ Isaac Luria, verses the authority ascribed to the Mechaber of the Shulchan Aruch, R’ Joseph Cairo, which he openly scoffs at:

      Milhouse argued that in all cases we must respect the words of the Arizal over the words of the Mechaber, because the Ari’s disciple R’ Chaim Vital wrote that his teacher had regular encounters with Eliyah Hanavi. However why does Milhouse fail to bear in mind that the Mechaber also lived in the same time and place as the Ari, in the mystic center of Tzefas, and they certainly knew one another in their lifetimes, only the Mechaber was older and outlived the Ari by a few years, and the Mechaber also had an angelic Magid who instructed him, as testified to by his disciples R’ Shlomo Alkabetzs and others, and by the Mechaber’s own handwritings that have come down to us, something which we do not have from the Arizal.

      It comes out that the Mechaber’s understanding and ruling that the Kapores Minhag with chickens is forbidden due to its being Darchei Hoemori was certainly also cleared and approved by his angelic Magid.

      If all of this is to be taken 100% literally, then is Milhouse arguing that the Mechaber’s angelic Magid was way off base and didn’t know what he was talking about?!

      Maybe Milhouse, or a pinch hitter if Milhouse is already out of the lineup, can explain this difficulty?

    • 60. replying.. wrote:

      You know what you remind me of: after yud shevat the chassidim asked the Rebbe if they should stay or leave their positions appointed to them by the Frierdiker Rebbe. the Rebbe said one word:STAY. the way i see you, your going to bring all sorts of proofs to leave. the Rebbe said one word STAY! Same here as mentioned in my first reply: THE REBBE DID IT – WE DO IT!

  • 61. Anti-Jewish Origin of Kapparot wrote:

    A gripping analysis of the origin of the Kapparot custom is presented in the book “Maimonides – The Exceptional Mind,” by Israel Drazin, Gefen Publishing House (2008), chapter 26, The Non-Jewish – Indeed, anti-Jewish – Origin of Kapparot, p. 197-204, http://www.amazon.com/Maimonides-Exceptional-Mind-Israel-Drazin/dp/9652294241#reader_9652294241. The chapter was also posted last year on Rabbi Drazin’s blog http://booksnthoughts.com/the-anti-jewish-origin-of-kapparot/. This is a must read.

  • 62. The Rebbe Said To Stop wrote:

    There is a Youtube video of a Channel 7 eye witness news program about the lawsuit under discussion, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sHSfWJffQU, “Lawsuit Against (Kaparot) Slaughter of Chickens for Hasidic Jewish Ritual in New York City.” A comment at the bottom of the page, posted a month ago by “Reporter” states: “The Rebbe Told Rabbi Groner to stop it by 1993 because chickens suffered.”

    Let me repeat that in capital letters:

    “THE REBBE TOLD RABBI GRONER TO STOP IT BY 1993 BECAUSE CHICKENS SUFFERED.”

    Can anyone provide and more information about this assertion?

    Incidentally, this newscast, and numerous other Youtube videos, show some of the depraved things that are done by Orthodox Jews in performing the Kapores minhag, and the comments that are posted demonstrate the absolute disgust and abhorrence that the public has for this slaughter taking place on municipal streets, and consequently this greatly increases their disgust and abhorrence for the Jews. It is a tremendous Chilul Hashem, and it creates and strengthens anti-Semites and gives them dangerous ammunition to condemn us and our Torah. It is an Anti-Jewish custom that produces Anti-Jewish results.

    Please come to your senses and stop doing it, and if you feel you must continue anyway, despite all the clear reasons to stop, then at least do it in a completely private manner and never again in the public eye which is so seriously damaging for the public perception of the Jew and the Torah.

    • 63. Milhouse wrote:

      This is your idea of evidence? An anonymous comment on a Youtube page?! Youtube comment sections are a sewer; who even reads them? This does not pass the laugh test. It’s an outright lie, and I am calling you out as a liar. You can’t possibly believe that it’s true, and yet you repeat it because you have no regard for the truth.

      By the way, if you really thought there might be some truth to it, did you ever wonder why Rabbi Groner and his whole family still do kaporos with chickens?

  • 64. The Rebbe Said To Stop wrote:

    Anyone who is aware of what is happening in the Jewish community knows that there is a long and growing list of Orthodox Rabbonim and Dayonim who have come out in recent years with declarations that Kapores should no longer be done with chickens but rather with money instead, and this includes many who in previous years had themselves performed and encouraged the minhag with chickens.

    If there indeed is a record or there are witnesses that the Rebbe said to stop the ritual with chickens that would be great, but in any event it is entirely plausible, and IMHO certain, that the Rebbe too would have by now joined with these other Rabbinic leaders in calling for a change due to current knowledge and circumstances and would have likewise instructed to use money instead of killing chickens for the Kapores minhag.

    • 65. Milhouse wrote:

      You are outright lying. The Rebbe did not say to stop; on the contrary, he encouraged the minhag of using chickens in every possible way.

      You claim there is a “long and growing list of Orthodox Rabbonim and Dayonim”; I dare you to name them! We would immediately see that they are nobodies.

      Kaporos cannot be done with money, except in an extreme sh’as had’chak. The Alter Rebbe specifies “תרנגול לבן שנקרא גבר”. He doesn’t give any alternatives. But obviously if it’s not possible to use a chicken then you have to make do with a fish or some other living thing, and if that is also impossible for some reason then the best you can can do is a “zecher” to kaporos with money, and ask Hashem to consider the tzedoko “as if” you had done kaporos properly.

      In R Folye Kahan’s memoirs he writes about making a seder over three sugar cubes because he had no matzos. Obviously that was not a proper seder, but it was the best he could do, and surely Hashem accepted it. But imagine if someone had matzos but chose to use sugar cubes instead, because that’s how R Folye did it! What an idiot such a person would be.

    • 66. The Rebbe Said To Stop wrote:

      Here I reply to Milhouse calling me a liar in his two comments above:

      First off, Milhouse, above in the previous comments here you yourself were already called out as a liar, when you denied that any of the Gedolei HaPoskim were against the Kapores chicken ritual for being the non-Jewish superstitious drivel that it is, so on this topic your credibility is already far in the negative zone. You still have not apologized for your barefaced lies.

      Then multiple other serious questions were raised against your opinion, and you have demonstrated that you are unable to answer, and that your only defense is to condemn others and to take the cowardly way out saying you won’t engage in meaningful discussion. You assert ridiculously that the Arizal got everything straight from Eliyohu and he cannot get even one thing wrong, but we do not have any infallible “Pope” in our Jewish religion. Pardon me but it seems that you like starting new religions, or at least copying religious other than Judaism. IMHO it is YOU who are not a Chossid of the Rebbe, but rather you are just a ____ (so as not to get censored just a blank space is left, but use your imagination).

      Regarding my comments, I did not hide anything, I gave the source from where the statement came, and I have no reason to doubt that there is some Emes behind it. The comment from “reporter” on the Youtube website is obviously made by a Lubavitcher from a several generation old Lubavitcher family, who recently had contact with R’ Groner in L.A. where he apparently now lives. It is likely that readers of CHI will recognize him and be able to contact him to get more information. He seemed to be “Masiach L’fi Tumo” and he obviously must have heard something like what he reported. In my comment I did not assert that what he said was correct, I merely said it over and I asked if anyone could verify it. For that you accuse me of being a liar? Please look up the meaning of the word because you seem so ignorant that you don’t know it yet.

      As for whether or not Rabbi Groner and his whole family still do kaporos with chickens, I have no knowledge about that whatsoever, and I never claimed I did. Based on your track record I’m not sure if I should believe you that it is the case. Even if it is that would not automatically negate something similar to what was reported having been said to him or indicated to him by the Rebbe at some time in the past. Maybe an honest reader or someone at CHI can discuss the matter with R’ Groner and get a more definite explanation. Was the Kapres ritual done for the Rebbe in 1992 and 1993, the last years of his life?

      As for your dare to name Rabbonim and Dayonim who are against Kapores with chickens, Bli Neder I’ll try to do that time allowing, but for you it probably won’t matter since you already indicated that in your opinion the Ramban, Rashba, and the Shulchan Aruch are also “nobodies.” The only ones you seem to perceive as not being nobodies are the Arizal and the Chabad Rabbeim themselves, although who says your interpretation of their words is correct. The rest according to you are nobodies or Kofrim. Good luck to you after 120 years when you certainly will have to pay for that.

      Your comparison of the controversial Kapores chicken minhag to the absolute Torah Commandment of Matzos on Pesach is irrational and absurd and shows how imbecilic your thinking is. What an idiot you prove yourself to be.

      You have to do real Teshuva – not by swinging a chicken and cutting its throat and thinking that thereby you will magically escape judgment – but real Teshuva, praying with tears to Hashem for forgiveness and apologizing with a contrite heart for your previous belittling and lying words.

    • 67. replying.. wrote:

      I will speak for myself as much as maybe i understand why on THIS issue milhouse will disagree and he’s right. you write that on youtube a reporter said “the Rebbe said to stop” and if pple can clarify that info. or addtional info to provide etc.. that’s fine, but what was 100% WRONG OF YOU, till you dont have proof DO NOT IMPOSE ON PPLE YOUR IDEA TO STOP, WHEN THE REBBE DID IT HIMSELF AS CLEARLY SEEN PROOF ALIVE AND THE VIDEOS! from the Alter Rebbe till and including our Rebbe it was done and it’ll continue to BE done. whoever goes against it is just not following the Rebbe that’s all, but has NO RIGHT to impose it on others!

    • 68. The Rebbe Said To Stop wrote:

      In answer to “replying”: Clearly I am not “imposing” anything on anyone as you falsely accuse, rather I am only “pleading” with you to please stop doing this of your own volition, and trying to provide virtuous and compelling reasons to help you realize that this is the best choice for you to make.

      I genuinely believe that if the Rebbe zt”l were alive today he would vociferously agree that the current practice has gotten way out of hand, and it must be seriously reassessed and either greatly modified, so that it doesn’t offend anyone anymore, or be completely curtailed.

      Meanwhile the only “imposing” that is being done is by the practitioners of this ritual in that they are doing it so openly in the public city streets right before the eyes of many people, men, women and children, who are appalled by the bloody sight and smell and only wish that YOU would not impose YOUR ideas and YOUR rituals on them against their will.

      If you will not stop this outrageous behavior on your own, as I am pleading with you to do, then Boruch Hashem we live in a country with civil law and order, and it is possible that this lawsuit or others like it will be successful in forcing you to behave more like decent and respectable citizens of the country in which we live, where the “Minhag HaMokom” is not to have this filthy slaughter done in the public city streets, and “Dina D’Malchusa Dina” will then fully apply in this matter and will compel you even further to stop current very upsetting practice.

    • 69. replying.. wrote:

      I have news for you – if the Rebbe would be phyically be with us he would have kept his minhag which is since the Alter Rebbe. so you are already saying something false that the Rebbe would agree to YOUR idea! second instead of saying how inhuman i am to allow this to happen in front of everyone when its a disgrace: 1. what the nazis did to the yidden not for 1 week as kaparos but YEARS and it was way worse- how come no one was there and believed them? oh russians had to go help- americans “oh we’ll get there”. 2. to do illegal and abuse mentally someone which is against G-d , since no one is physically being hurt – oh thats alright, but to use chickens because this is our estalished minhag from our rabbanim which HASHEM AGREES- no this is wrong! pple really have to get their facts straight!

  • 70. Kaporoh only from Hashem wrote:

    This seems like the proper time to again ask Milhouse a question he was asked last year on CHI, however, as usual when faced with questions he has no answer for, he replied then by not answering.

    At http://crownheights.info/op-ed/455167/lubavitcher-responds-to-criticism-of-kaporos/, in comment #18, “Kaporoh only from Hashem” asked Milhouse:

    “— Oh, by the way, since you are so concerned about following every minhag, please tell us how you enjoyed spread[ing] the guts of your Kaporos chicken on your roof as the Seforim say it [is] the custom to do. You did carefully follow that holy minhag too didn’t you? If you didn’t do it, then kindly tell us why not. I’d really like to hear your answer, and I’m sure others would be interested to hear your reply as well.”

    Milhouse, it is time for you to review the Halochos and practice your reading comprehension, for in your above comment you stated wrongly that “The Alter Rebbe specifies “תרנגול לבן שנקרא גבר”. He doesn’t give any alternatives.” Look inside in Hilchos Yom HaKipurim, Simon 605:1, and you will see that the Alter Rebbe states: אבל אם אין לו תרגולים ולוקח שאר בעלי חיים לכפרה לא יקח תורים ובני יונה שההם ראוים למזבח, “but if one doesn’t have chickens take other living animals…”

    There in Halacha 6 the Alter Rebbe writes: וזורקין הבני מעיים והכבד והכליו’ של הכפרו’ על הגגות או בחצר מקום שהעופות יכולים לקחת משם לפי שראוי לרחם על הבריות ביום זה כדי שירחמו עלינו מן השמים, that “The bowels, the liver and the kidneys of the atonement animals are thrown on the roofs or in the courtyard, places where the birds are able to take from there…” Kindly explain how you fulfill this Pesak of not just Stam Seforim as in last year’s question, but the Pesak of the Alter Rebbe too.

    In addition, at the end of Halacha 2 there, the Alter Rebbe writes: ובוחרין בתרנגולים לבנים… בד”א כשהלבנים מזומנים לפניו … אבל אם אינם מזומנים לפניו לא יחזר אחריהם בדוקא משום שזהו כעין דרכי האמורי שדרכם לחזור אחר תרנגולים לבנים להקריבן לע”ז וכתיב ובחקותיהם לא תלכו – “Choose white chickens… only though if they are readily before you… but if not do not chase after them specifically for then it is like the Darchei HoEmori/ways of the Amorites whose way is to seek out white chickens to be offered for idolatry and it is written ‘and in their statutes you shall not go.’” It seems absolutely clear from this Halacha alone that the Alter Rebbe does not explain Darchei HoEmori as you did above in one of your silly comments as simply being superstitious acts done by Jews, the Alter Rebbe connects it directly to idolatry done by non-Jews.

    Now please crawl out from under your rock and reply to the questions you have been asked, admit to being wrong, or accept being branded not just an ignoramus, but a total fake, phony and fraud.

  • 71. Kaporoh only from Hashem wrote:

    Based on what was mentioned above from the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, Hilchos Yom HaKipurim, Simon 605:1, it comes out that even if one considers him or herself to be Spitz Chabad, and insists that using Tzeduka money is not good enough, and that a living being absolutely must be used for the Kapores ceremony, nevertheless using live Kosher fish would be an entirely acceptable option.

    It seems clear that by using fish instead of chickens the present serious Tzar Baalei Chaim problems would be tremendously mitigated, and there would be none of the Kashrus problems associated with present hurried and ad hoc Shechita arrangements, and as a matter of fact a meal of fish is considered even better than meat according to both Nigla and Nistar, and even according to nutritionists. This certainly would ease the very serious Chilul Hashem concerns that no one can rationally ignore and pretend do not exist as things currently stand.

    It seems obvious to me that due to the similarity to pagan rituals that we are more aware of today we should follow the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch and eliminate the ceremony entirely, however if one disagrees and thinks such a ceremony complete with using and killing a living being has to be done, then at least one should consider using fish as a better alternative than chickens and all the severe problems they entail.

  • 72. Kaporoh only from Hashem wrote:

    Slicha. As we begin requesting Slichos from Hashem we should not forget to request Slichos from one another. Frequently in comments there are sharply worded rebukes, obviously written in the ‘heat of battle,’ Milchamta D’Oraisa, when combatants forcefully drive home their points with exaggerated statements, especially when fighting for important principles. It is axiomatic that any who dish out are expected to be able to be able to take it themselves, sometimes deserved and sometimes undeserved, yet anyway it is clear that use of unpleasant words is regretted, and no real offense is intended.

    Hopefully apologies are understood and transgressions forgiven even if not explicitly stated. Hopefully everyone will make an effort to improve in this area and commit to friendly exchange of ideas using appropriate language, together will other improvements they strive for in their personal lives and in their service of Hashem.

    If we all do our part here below it is certain that likewise from above, Hashem will grant to all of us a complete Slicha, Mechila, and Kaporah.

  • 73. Kaporoh only from Hashem wrote:

    Milhouse stated above (presently #65), “Kaporos cannot be done with money, except in an extreme sh’as had’chak.”

    Let’s examine this a bit more closely. “Sh’as had’chak” means “time of pressure” or “time of difficulty,” i.e., that conditions are not optimal and there is need to make do with alternatives.

    Milhouse really deserves thanks for pointing this out, for indeed it is true that when circumstances change and make a given practice inconvenient and difficult – especially when not dealing with direct Biblical law, and not even with Rabbinic decrees – then all of our Sages acknowledge that Jewish practice and custom may be liberally modified and even entirely skipped due to those circumstance. Further, in many instances when it is a “sh’as had’chak,” if despite the difficulty involved one insists on anyway doing the practice that one is not obligated to do, this persistence itself is considered inappropriate and may even be considered sinful.

    The standards of “sha’as had’chak” come into play even in commonly occurring conditions and situations, and the principle does not apply only in cases of “extreme” emergency. Therefore Milhouse needs to explain why he stated in his comment that Kaporos cannot be done with money unless the pressure is “extreme.” The difficulties do not have to be extreme. If animals or fish are not readily available, or if they are too expensive for one’s budget, or if one doesn’t have enough time to make arrangements for doing it, or if one simply too tired to do it or feels queasy about it, then clearly one is already exempt from practicing the custom.

    At any rate, with regard to using chickens for Kaporos it is clear that the situation today has changed radically from the situation that prevailed in previous centuries in the Shtetels, and from the situation that prevailed when the Rebbe zt”l did it. It is clear that the present situation easily qualifies and fits the criteria for being considered “times of pressure,” and even more so, times of “extreme” pressure, and to the extent that if one insists on doing it anyway, this persistence is itself inappropriate and sinful.

    Therefore, due to the circumstances that have radically changed today, the alternative of using money – even if not explicitly mentioned in the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch as it is in other sources and codes of Jewish laws and customs – is certainly an acceptable option and may be relied upon without any qualms whatsoever. Halacha certainly recognizes that in times of extreme pressure a Minhag may be completely dispensed with – even if one believes it was encouraged by Eliyahu HaNovi – and that even without doing Kapores in that way we have nothing to worry about, because Hashem understands, and loves and forgives us anyway. Any normal and honest person readily realizes or should realize these obvious truths.

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