Kapporos protests: What works and what doesn't
Yom Kippur is over, and with it the protests against using chickens in kapporos (or kapparot) ceremonies -- for this year. I have given considerable thought in the past few days about what worked and what did not in the anti-kapporos protests. As someone who is both a Hasidic Jew and an opponent of using chickens for kapporos, I'd like to offer some thoughts to fellow activists on how to be more effective in the future. To being with, we need to remember that even among "the Orthodox," only a small minority do this ceremony with chickens. There are over a million Jews in New York City, and, according to recent polls, 40% of them identify as Hasidic or Orthodox. So even if 20,000 chickens were sacrificed, that is only 5% of the Orthodox community. It is important to keep this statistic in mind, and not paint all religious Jews with the same angry brush. In the same vein, not all of these guys are rabbis, either, even if they do have beards and dress in black. This is standard dress for all Hasidic males, even total ignoramuses. Wearing the clothes is no guarantee of sainthood! So please, unless you actually know that a particular person really is a rabbi, don't refer to him as such in your blogs. In many cases, the smart-alecks mouthing off across the barricades may be no more than teenagers acting out -- and every community has those! Not that I approve of profanity or sexist remarks, but it is usually not "th...