One of our favorite vegan celebs, Mayim Bialik, will certainly be celebrating the Jewish holidays this year. She just won’t take part in one particular version of one of the rituals. The “Big Bang Theory” actress took to her Facebook page to speak out against something called kaparos, a practice involving live chickens that sadly takes place around Yom Kippur.
According to The Jewish Outreach Institute, “The term kaparos is the root of the word Kippur, and carries the same meaning: atonement. On the eve of Yom Kippur, men take roosters and women take hens; they place the birds in their hands and whirl them around above the head, saying : ‘This is my substitute, this is my exchange, this is my atonement. This fowl will go to death, and I will enter upon a good and long life.’”
Waving chickens over one’s head is hardly humane. Perhaps even less humane is how the birds are raised. Think of factory farms and those tiny cages. Roosters and hens raised for kaparos are treated to similarly cruel conditions and then are slaughtered once they have served their purpose.
Bialik took to her facbeook page to speak out against kaparos. She wrote, “Wave money, not chickens. Some Jews wave live chickens over their heads for the Jewish new year. Not kidding. Here’s the “Jewlicious” rabbi explaining why, and why it’s not humane. Brilliant!”
Watch the video and see why, according to Rabbi Yonah Bookstein, an Orthodox Rabbi in Los Angeles, the practice isn’t just inhumane. It goes against the Jewish faith.