KAPPOROT with Rabbi Henoch Dov
Kapporot is a Jewish custom from medieval times, where a hen or rooster is slaughtered prior to Yom Kippur as a vicarious atonement. The blessing, said while holding the bird above one's head, says: "This is in exchange for me, this is instead of me, this is my atonement. This Rooster (or Hen) shall go to its death, and I shall enter in and go to a good, long life and to peace."
After the blessing, the "schecting" is done by a Rabbi trained in the art of Kosher slaughtering, deemed to be the most humane of all techniques used for dispatching the animals we eat. The blood is drained into a hole in the ground, and everyone puts their own handful of dirt on top of it. The meat is eaten is a special meal, the last before the Yom Kippur fast.
The depth of the experience, and the participants' mixed emotions show in these photos, taken by Barry Meriash (unless otherwise noted).
Please note: Kapporot is held annually under Rabbi Hoffman's supervision, and though some Kohelet members attend, it is not a "Kohelet Event" per se, and does not necessarily reflect the tastes or preferences of the Kohelet population in general.