Sunday, 1 October 2017

Swing A Chicken For Your Sins

Six Israeli activists wounded in protest against Yom Kippur chicken-swinging ritual | Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Ever since the Abrahamic religions invented the idea of sin, they've had to be even more inventive to provide cures for it.

For a Muslim, it's strict adherence to the rules, daily prayers, pilgrimage to Mecca and giving to charity. For a Catholic, it's confession, rituals and magic words as prescribed by the priest. For a Protestant, it's accepting Jesus and giving money to the church.

And for some ultra-conservative Jews, it's swinging a live chicken round your head the day before Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). The chicken is then killed and the meat given to charity.

Now, I've no objection to meaningless rituals but what I do object to is unnecessary animal cruelty. So did a number of Israeli animal rights activists who protested at the ancient chicken-swinging ritual known as kapparot, in Hadera, about 28 miles from Haifa. The protest was legal, peaceful and with permission, but it was met with a barrage of stones and other object which, according to reports, included a fire extinguisher and even an office chair, thrown by the local residents from their balconies.

Six of the protesters, received minor injuries.

The tradition of kapparot dates back at least 800 years. The chicken is twirled three time round the head accompanied by magic spells that transfer 'sins' onto the chicken. A hen is used by women; a cockerel for men. Apparently the gender is important! You couldn't expect a hen to carry a man's sins after all and think of the poor cockerel burdened with a woman's impure thoughts!

Now, Christians especially might be a little puzzled about how this works, until they realise how the transference of 'sin' onto a ritually sacrificed animal was the basis of the Feast of Passover - the origin of the idea that sacrificing Jesus somehow means God can now forgive these 'sins'.

But it just goes to show you what idiotic rituals religions can pursade their victims to perform in the belief that a magic man in the sky demands them and a terrible fate awaits anyone who doesn't do it right.

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1 comment :

  1. Do you think that, if that guy could only see how deranged he looks, it might make him think twice about this stupidity?

    ReplyDelete

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