Man performs kaparot ritual
Man performs kaparot ritualFlash 90

The city of Petah Tikva is attempting to stamp out the practice of doing the Kaparot ritual with chickens, recommending that the traditional bird be replaced with money instead.

Kaparot is a traditional prayer said during the day before the Yom Kippur fast begins in which a person circles his head with a chicken or money, symbolizing that they are substitutes for him and are to be punished or given to charity for his sins. The chicken to be slaughtered for a meal, usually donated to the poor, and the money given to charity. In recent years, there has been a brouhaha about the use of chickens in the prayer.

A notice from Petah Tikva city hall says that doing the ritual with chickens requires a special permit from the city's veterinary services, and that slaughtering chickens in the streets, as done in years past, is strictly forbidden.

This is the second year that Petah Tikva has banned performing Kaparot with chickens. Last year, it joined the Tel Aviv municipality for the first time in announcing a blanket ban on using chickens in city streets.

Israel's Ministry of Agriculture has been discouraging the use of chickens, and launched a campaign against it in 2016 for what is said was for the benefit of the public and to protect animal rights.