Updated 09/24/2012 10:58 PM
Protest Held Against Orthodox Jewish Ritual Involving Live Chickens
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The local Jewish community is divided over the ritual sacrifice of chickens on the eve of Yom Kippur, with some activists calling it a cruel, outdated practice.
During kaparot, a ceremony practiced by some Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, the birds are grabbed by the wings and waved over a person's head during chanting prayers for mercy and peace.
However, protesters in Crown Heights, Brooklyn told NY1 on Monday the ancient practice is inhumane and illegal, and the chickens are often mistreated until the ceremonies.
Supporters say the birds are donated to food charities, while critics say is better to give money to the charity rather than to slaughter the birds.
"I did kaparot with money, and when the money is used, it's then donated to a poor person. And the money you have to use is the price of chicken," said protester Keith Sanders.
"The same Torah that tells us not to be cruel to animals is the same one that tells us to do this commandment. We're elevating the chicken by giving it to poor people to eat from it," said Yossi Brysky, who participated in the ritual.
Kaparot is performed on the eve of the Jewish day of atonement.