Swinging Chickens

*Warning if you have a weak stomach or are an animal rights advocate don’t look at these photographs*

There is an ancient custom within Judaism between the time of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur called Kaparot.  It is when Jews will take chickens and swing them over their heads as well as their families. The chickens symbolically represent them and what should be happening to them as a consequence of their sins.  Once they are finished swinging the chicken they will take it to be slaughtered.  The chicken will then be given to charity.  I went to Mea Sharim, an Ultra Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem, in order to see this happen.

 

Girls participate in the custom of Kaparot on September 11, 2013 in Mea Sharim in Jerusalem.

Girls participate in the custom of Kaparot on September 11, 2013 in Mea Sharim in Jerusalem.

 

Children  look at the chickens that will be taken place in Kaparot in Mea Sharim in Jerusalem on September 11. 2013.

Children look at the chickens that will be taken place in Kaparot in Mea Sharim in Jerusalem on September 11. 2013.

 

A girl participates in the custom of Kaparot on September 11, 2013 in Mea Sharim in Jerusalem.

A girl participates in the custom of Kaparot on September 11, 2013 in Mea Sharim in Jerusalem.

 

A man participates in Kaparot with his family in Mea Sharim in Jerusalem on September 11, 2013.

A man participates in Kaparot with his family in Mea Sharim in Jerusalem on September 11, 2013.

 

A man holds his chicken before partaking in the custom of Kaparot in Mea Sharim in Jerusalem on September 11, 2013.

A man holds his chicken before partaking in the custom of Kaparot in Mea Sharim in Jerusalem on September 11, 2013.

 

A man slaughters chickens in Mea Sharim in Jerusalem on September 11, 2013 after people partake in the custom of Karparot.

A man slaughters chickens in Mea Sharim in Jerusalem on September 11, 2013 after people partake in the custom of Karparot.

 

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