|SMcGarnigle, Creative Commons|
Gothamist has video showing the heated exchanges between ritual Kaporos (also spelled Kapparot) practitioners and animal rights groups.
The Brooklyn Eagle explains the meaning of the ritual, in which the chicken is held over a person's head and swung in a circle three times while reciting a prayer. Many Orthodox rabbis have spoken out against the practice as cruel and not in keeping with Jewish belief.
The protests were organized by The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos.
It's important to note that millions of Jews do not slaughter chickens on the street for Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in the Jewish calendar. Among the highlights of the Yom Kippur ceremony are the “Kol Nidrei” prayer, which dates back at least to the first millennium C.E., and the blowing of the shofar, or ram’s horn. (More about that here.)
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