The Slaughter of a Rooster at the Jewish Festival of Yom Kippur: An Explanation of the Ritual of Kapparot

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Dr. Fishbane’s monograph explores the development and history of the Jewish tradition and custom of kapparot, where a rooster is sacrificed before Yom Kippur. The sacrificed fowl is given to the poor or the money that is the fowl’s worth.


"… religious rituals are often created or insti-tuted to supplement a spiritual or religious need. For example, in our study of kapparot, there is an aspiration to perform before the Day of Atonement an action that would rid the atoner of his/her sins, and permit him/her to enter this holy day free from religious transgressions. Durkheim points out that the individual requires a ritual ceremony to deal with evil or fear. Every misfortune, every-thing of evil omen, everything that inspires sentiments of sorrow or fear necessitates a rite or ceremony."

Table of Contents

The Practice of Kapparot

The Sociology of the Custom

The Rabbis of the Talmud

The Ritual Takes Root – the Gaonic Period

The Rishonim (Early Rabbinical Authorities)

The Achronim (Later Rabbinical Authorities)

19th – 20th Century Rabbinical Authorities


Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Works Cited

Other Jewish Studies Books

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