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I Have Chickens, But I Use Money

Eli Shechter, who is a certified shochet and lives on a small farm in Israel, responds to the pro-kaparos article by Sruli Schochet. Full Story

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To #s 61, and 69
September 18, 2017 11:19 am

To #61 the fact that you imply that you might stop using Chickens for Kapporos just because you do not like the attitudes of others who do it, does not sound like you have sincere reasons for posting your comment. It sounds more like a political agenda then actual concern for how things are done. It sounds like you are saying “You must do it my way, or I will take revenge on you, by not doing it anymore”. And taking personal revenge is no more kosher then anything you might be complaining about here. To #69, it does not… Read more »

"because the chicken may feel a tiny scrape"
September 17, 2017 2:58 am

I quote the article “a knife cannot even have a slight scratch on it because the chicken may feel a tiny scrape”. I’m a shochet as well and don’t recall it being mentioned in any source. It is a nice theory but isn’t factually true. All hilchos schita are הלכה למשה מסיני hinted in the torah in the posuk וזבחת כאשר צויתיך. The knife may not have the slightest scratch because that spot isn’t cutting & thereby transgressing on one of the five hilchos schita. One should be skeptical of a shochet that isn’t familiar with the basics.

מנהג ישראל כשרה לא נוגעים
September 16, 2017 9:44 pm

אין לדבר סוף. Rabbi Schochets points all override Srulis. No one makes you use a chicken. We can improve but pls pls do not tamper with minhag yisrael kshaira.

Dear Eli,
September 15, 2017 3:17 pm

Forgive me if I sound harsh, but there is something at stake here bigger than your feelings. You are not a Rov, and your expertise as a shochet are questionable by your own admonition of how difficult you find certain pertinent things are. A Gutten Shabbos Kodesh!

TO 52
September 15, 2017 1:14 pm

Don’t worry about PETA, they have no legal standing.

In 1993, their was SC case; Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah

Read the court briefing it discusses animal killing for the sake of religious purposes.

מנהג ישראל כשרה לא נוגעים
September 15, 2017 12:52 pm

אין לדבר סוף. Rabbi Schochets points all override Elis. No one makes you use a chicken. We can improve but pls pls do not tamper with minhag yisrael kshaira.

To #21
September 14, 2017 9:48 pm

You write very important points. Problem is it’s a comment and many people don’t read every comment. It seems many people are convinced from this article and may not be reading all the comments.
Please rewrite this (and touch up the grammar a bit so you don’t get attacked) and send to collive as an op-ed in response to Eli shechters article.

Unless you're a vegetarian it's a matter of faith
September 14, 2017 12:23 pm

Unless you don’t eat chicken than it’s wether you believe in this practice or not. All that’s being done is a blessing over a chicken , a symbolic swinging over your head , and it’s taken to slaughter, what’s done in chicken houses isn’t any more humane. So if you continue eating chicken but have an issue with this practice than you have a real issue with the practices and beliefs of your community and family. I’m speaking to myself too since I have issues of faith and Was raised in this community .

September 14, 2017 8:50 am

Aside from the Halachic and emotional aspects of this, Kapores is now an issue of scale. There are too many items (chickens in this case) than are able to be processed, in time. If this was a business and there were too many orders for merchandise etc. one would increase productivity in order to handle the extra load. The same is here. The solution is not to “dispose” of the chickens that cannot be processed but to increase the capabilities to process them properly, in a kosher and humane manner. Anyone who justifies or rationalizes “throwing out” the chickens after… Read more »

September 13, 2017 10:06 pm

Thank you for providing these words. There is universal acceptance that money is a proper substitute.

Tzaar balei chaim is deoraisa
September 13, 2017 9:35 pm

Accoring to many opinions. Kaparos at best is a minhag. Please make sure you have your priorities set.

Concerned Crown Heightser
September 13, 2017 8:14 pm

The fact that we have people coming to protest our religious rituals is so not good, there were last year crazy people yelling cursing and being very aggressive towards Jews who tried to do their Jewish ritual.
We should not have anyone here cursing at us in front of our little children for swinging chickens over our heads and doing ritual slaughter, they might as well go to any USA supermarket.

To #21,23,35,36 etc.
September 13, 2017 7:52 pm

Baal tashchis, tzar Baal L’chaim are daarasyas as are esrog and karbonos. Kaporos is a minhag and should never be if it is bo’ baveira. I have and plan to continue doing kaporos on chickens because it’s an old minhag passed down generation to generation and should be continued until Moshiach comes. I hape your attitude does not make me cold to this minhag and C”V lead me to drop it at some point. Learn from 41 how to discuss this topic appropriately. If you don’t you, not Eli, may be the ones leading people astray.

Am Ha'aretz
September 13, 2017 6:54 pm

Kaparos is about Schechting the bird. That’s it. By default, there’s a necessity following the slaughter of ANY chicken on ANY day of the year that it not be wasted due to Ba’al Tashchis. If the person you entrust to use the chicken correctly will not do so, your Kaparos is unaffected. Does that mean you should refrain from doing it? Ask a Rav.

Agree with 46
September 13, 2017 6:49 pm

It is our minhog to use chickens and therefore we will.
The Rebbe showed us how to hold a chicken. instead of holding it by its wings, HOLD THE WHOLE CHICKEN! why add to the suffering.

From the Author (Eli Shechter) to commenters and to #41
September 13, 2017 6:42 pm

To all you who seem to think that i am denigrating the minhag. Please note that the point of the article was to state that if you can find an “appropriate” place to do kaporos, then i encourage it and that we need to be mindful of the waste, and possible cruelty. I did not say i was a Rav and i did not paskin halochot. The only reason i mentioned that i was a shochet and farmer was to show that i do have some knowledge and experience in the raising and killing of chickens. Not (i repeat) as… Read more »

Agree with posting of # 51
September 13, 2017 5:41 pm

wholeheartedly, A Gut Gebenched Yohr!

The Rebbe used chickens
September 13, 2017 4:45 pm

why wasn’t this mentioned in the article? We follow what the Rebbe does but this article does not even mention the Rebbe!

a different perspective
September 13, 2017 4:45 pm

Don’t forget that when this custom was initiated the culture was that everyone had a few animals and a few chickens in the backyard they knew how to treat the animals and the chickens and they didn’t have to be trucked in crowded crates for hundreds of miles in the hot weather, just something to keep in mind , the Torah emphasizes the severity of treating animals with cruelty

September 13, 2017 3:58 pm


Anonymous Anonymous Anonymous 😇😇😇
September 13, 2017 3:41 pm

So much criticism towards the author…zero names attached to these harsh comments…plain and simple: Intellectually dishonest . Never too late to have identified Scholars & Rabbis add their opinions or the Rabbonim a statement of strong instruction on how best to perform this Mitzvah. Consider an article on the COL platform a useful introduction for becoming better educated!

Dear fellow Jews
September 13, 2017 3:01 pm

PETA has its agenda and my Nefesh habahamis had its agenda: Don’t inconvenience yourself, don’t stick out among the goyim, don’t make them look down on you, don’t spend so much money, don’t wake up so early, don’t waste your precious time, etc. But that’s not always enough. Sometimes, in order to convince me to do or not do something, he will attempt to influence my way of thinking so I don’t feel foolish when I listen to him. Often, it will come from a worldview from the secular society that slowly permeates my own worldview. Take the PETA protesters… Read more »

in this coming year
September 13, 2017 2:38 pm

Can collive.com please have articles of these types of questions (this, tznius, etc.) answered by three prominent ravs instead of laymen?

Chicken handling
September 13, 2017 2:11 pm

I am no animal lover, but I do know that the chickens are mistreated by the people who have no experience handling the chicken and they suffer needlessly, the chickens are usually shoved in and out of the crates very roughly because the people handling them have no experience handling the chickens, that must change quickly in order to avoid doing aמנהג הבא על ידי עבירה

September 13, 2017 1:24 pm

you make it seem like eli is an expert and a rabbinic authority. you are misinforming the community. there was no reason to write shochet. you guys took a big achrayos on yourself as people are being misled

Nameless critics
September 13, 2017 1:22 pm

At least the author of this article wrote his name.
None of the commentators and complainers have the guts to write their names. That alone tells me who is willing to stand behind his words and ideas.

agree with 36
September 13, 2017 1:17 pm

i would never eat from eli”s shechita as this shows he lacks yirei shomayim which is the first thing needed to be a shochet. there are many ways to use the chicken aftrrwards. in la they have the health dept making it nearly impossible to kasher the chicken so they recycle them as use for animal food. but that has nothing to do with the mitzvah as #21wrote

to #14
September 13, 2017 12:56 pm

Please find a picture of the Rebbe MHM at Kapores.
The holds the chicken seemingly with the chickens comfort in mind. The sensitivity to the animal is wonderful to see in the picture.

Article is misleading without proper rabbinic sources
September 13, 2017 12:33 pm

The end of the article proves who the writer is. If he wrote that he still keeps the minhag of kaparos and does it the right way this article wold mean something to me but by him not keeping the minhag shows that he does not care about it

Chassidishe bachur
September 13, 2017 11:48 am

Go learn shulchan aruch, and study the chassidishe minhogim.
U need to sit more by farbrengens.

to #31
September 13, 2017 10:43 am

regardless of if the specific suggestions in this article are correct, nevertheless, you point certainly does not represent the truth of torah. he’s basically saying like this: everything needs to be based on torah, and certainly not be contrary to torah – where we don’t know the makor of a minhag, it is certainly worthwhile to keep even if we don’t know what its based on ; however, if something contradicts a Torah value, and its possible to say that those original rabbonim hundreds of years ago who agreed with a certain minhag would themselves possible have said otherwise if… Read more »

The Rebbe guides us
September 13, 2017 10:32 am

not people who write articles

Eli, Eli, Eli.
September 13, 2017 10:28 am

Eli, how unfortunate that you put yourself in a position that may C”V potentially cause even a single Yid to refrain from fulfilling the Minhag of Kaporos with a Chicken, Nebach. My absolute intent is to attack the contents of the article and absolutely not the writer of the article. Our sages tell us “הכל הולך אחר החיתום” the end summarizes it all. Our sages also tell us “נעוץ תחילתן בסופן וסופן בתחילתן”. In the beginning of your article you set down the foundation that you are writing your opinion “As a certified Shochet”, hence your knowledge and expertise in… Read more »

watch a video of the rebbe by the shechita
September 13, 2017 10:27 am

plz all readers. watch a video how the rebbe carries his chicken to the shochet. how the rebbe turns away his eyes by the actual shechita. how the rebbe covers the blood. it is a mitzvah that has to be done. no questions asked. minhog yisroel torah he. but it should be done with the most compassion.

death by 1000 cuts
September 13, 2017 9:56 am

death can be achieved by 1 stab, or by 100o minor cuts. this is the latter, our yidishkeit is under attack, now we must fight for all mitzvos, and yes even minhagim.

We use fish
September 13, 2017 9:47 am

It’s better to use fish than money.
Then you can put the fish in the freezer and cook it after yuntif when you have time.

To number 15
September 13, 2017 9:31 am

Mendel feldman is by far the best. Also has hashgacha from badatz that everything is kashered. I think his website is kaporos.com.

I for one
September 13, 2017 9:31 am

Would be wary of eating from this yorei shomayim’s shechita

I'm a sofer
September 13, 2017 9:29 am

But I coose not to wear tefilin, tzaar baalei chaim etc.

LA Chickens
September 13, 2017 9:25 am

The chickens in LA we’re actually thrown out the past few years… They were not slaughtered in a sanitary condition, and therefore couldn’t be processed.

September 13, 2017 9:14 am

Beautifully written! Opened my eyes and ❤ Yes this process of Kapppras is supposed to be personally relevant and offer a moment of true reflection…otherwise our lives become like a hectic slaughterhouse itself. An additional suggestion to execute in front of your children & to develop sensitivity in yourself as well…I believe it is important to treat the chicken as kindly as possible while in your own possession…I am conscious to never just swing our family chickens around wildly…rather the few extra seconds it takes to make the poor creature comfortable, to allow it’s feet to rest calmly in the… Read more »

Poor treatment of our chickens
September 13, 2017 8:27 am

It has upset me over the years how the chickens in Crown Heights sit in the heat and do not receive water. This should bring us to tshuva, if kappores doesn’t. I even called a Rav!

moshe der g
September 13, 2017 8:08 am

i quote from his article
“we have a responsibility to adapt the way we keep our minhagim ”

that is the most damning thing i have ever heard from anyone .. he is advocating “adapting” maybe we adapt and dont do a bris because today …… maybe we adapt and dont shecht at all because today ………..
torah is true forever !!!!!
our minhagim are true forever !!!!!!
we dont change !!!!!!
am yisrael chai !!!!!

Sushi for the fast
September 13, 2017 8:06 am

Remember the story about the poor man who paid a lot for a fish erev Yom Kippur? Don’t it on fish. Don’t have to worry about shechting them. Just have to know how to clean them.

September 13, 2017 8:04 am

Whether or not burning of the korban is baal taschis is an irrelevant question and analogy, since explicit directions are given in the Torah to burn it—It’s a d’oraisa. Kapporos is not. It is a minhag.

Dear Eli, please retract from you article
September 13, 2017 7:55 am

As a Shoceht who Shechted Kaporos in Crown Heights for many years who is involved today in writing a book about Tsae Ballei Chayim for gentiles, I would like to commend you on the many valid points you raised, but at the same time to totally denounce the many misinterpretation of facts which you have presented regarding Baal Tashchis, Tsar Ballei Chayim and Shechita from an Halachic standpoint, and then also most importantly, the total DISTORTION of facts about the Baal Tashchis which is being conducted with Kaporos today for example in Crown Heights. The information you are giving is… Read more »

September 13, 2017 7:31 am

Here where I live, we proudly kill 1,000’s of chickens, I always do kaparos on chickens for myself and all my family members that @$ 18 a pop (that’s what they charge) is almost $ 200 in chickens, now, I have never seen anyone eating those poor chickens, all I can tell you that all this, regardless the beauty of this minhag, is a many making opportunity for many, nothing to do with chessed or “kaparos” , just my opinion KVCHT

Thank you # 21, 22, & 23 also #14
September 13, 2017 7:21 am

This article is not written by a Rav ( a true halachic authority), but by a shochet, and is very misleading unfortunately to many.

CH Homeowner....
September 13, 2017 6:59 am

Excellent article. I began using money several years ago, and now feel even more sure that I made the right decision.

Great article
September 13, 2017 6:27 am

Well done. I, too, choose to do kapores on money instead of chickens for the reasons the author outlines.

Eli it's me again but I will keep it short this time
September 13, 2017 3:28 am

You should make an article before sukkos as follows If you don’t make jam out of your Esrog then it is baal tashchis. How many Esrogim do you see get thrown in the garbage. An esrog is the same baal tashchis as a chicken. The esrog will come to taanos to hashem the same way the chicken will, if you didn’t use it for a mitzvah. I will just point out something for you as you are a shochet. When they cover the blood after the shechita and say the brocha of aal kisui dam. That brocha and responsibility belongs… Read more »

September 13, 2017 3:01 am

it’s very interesting that both the original article and this was written by someone with the last name that is very much linked to the theme. Sruli SCHOCHET and Eli SHECHTER who is a certified SOCHET.
Something tells me they are in this together as some comedy scene

plz learn before you write an article and be mashchil people
September 13, 2017 2:50 am

Eli you write an article saying you are a shochet as if you have an understanding of kaporas. Learn halacha and reasoning for kaporas and then write an article. By you saying you are a schochet how does that make you an expert of kaporas. Does the chicken company that sells the chicken to the org. that runs kaporas are they experts how kaporas should be done. I am not an expert but I can share with you a little bit that I learnt. Why by us saying ze chalifosi…. ze hatarnegol yeileh l’misah v’ani … so that means that… Read more »

September 13, 2017 2:12 am

So nice to read a well written counter article. Kudos to Eli for presenting his factual points without attacking.

Wrong, LA i've seen dumpsters of chickens.
September 13, 2017 1:54 am

I went to a place that many go, and they threw them all in the garbage. The next year i did mine at a processing plant in downtown to prevent the stupid waste i saw. Love the article though.

Wonderful Article
September 13, 2017 1:28 am

Very much appreciated your sensitivity. May the creator of all also be sensitive to your needs and give you a sweet Shans Tova

What else is coming
September 13, 2017 1:27 am

Article why we should not have mechitzes in our days

Ducks and GEESE
September 13, 2017 1:22 am

Give the chickens one year off

Crown heights resident
September 13, 2017 1:18 am

In response to number 3

There needs to be a guarantee every chicken will be kashered

I have been doing Kaporos at Empire Shteeble for many years and I saw that all the chickens are Kashered. I heard mendel feldman is having Kaporos again this year.
Keep up the good work.

The rebbe used chickens!
September 13, 2017 1:09 am

After all as much as you feel bad the rebbe (who we as chsidim follow) did kaporos on a chicken and i guess think like you so we follow the rebbe
Jsiva vchsima tova

Fantastic essay
September 13, 2017 12:38 am

Thank you to the author and to COL for publishing it. 🙂

September 13, 2017 12:28 am

How many chickens get dropped when handled by both “bochurim staff” and the people doing kaparos. More than you think. I have personally witnessed kids that were handling the kaparos chickens who were part of the staff drop chickens flat on the concrete. Not saying its intentional and hoping it never is, but is it still deemed kosher after that? Hopefully no injury to it.
The mass kaparos definitely gets pretty messy regarding halachos.

Eastern parkway Kaporos
September 13, 2017 12:25 am

I agree with the article on many levels, I worked a few years ago at Kaporos on Eastern parkway and as far as I recall every chicken was processed and put in the freezer for Hadar Torah buchrim and some were given to various Tzedaka organizations and passed on to needy families. On President St the chickens are used to feed the thousands of Tishre guests. I do agree with making sure the animals are taken care of, if someone reading this will pass on some simple ideas to the organizers or maybe even bring food for the etc. But… Read more »

Not relevant to ch
September 12, 2017 11:55 pm

Very well written!
BH I know that on president st’ Kaporos they hire a proffesional crew to guarantee that everything will be Kashered on no Bal tashchis is done…

I think the article is very well written however it’s seems strange to me that the writer is a Shochet himself and he’s giving up a Mitzvah because of the inconvenience. Idk.
Wishing everyone all the best

I live in crown heights
September 12, 2017 11:07 pm

I’m taking my kaporos home. I’m kashring them by my self and eating the chickens before and after yom kippur

Excellent Points
September 12, 2017 11:04 pm

Sensitive and well thought out.

May more embrace this way of thinking!

September 12, 2017 11:03 pm

I enjoyed this post and agree with its sentiments.

Thank you!
September 12, 2017 10:55 pm

So beautiful! Finally the voice of morality and wisdom! Thank you!

to 1
September 12, 2017 10:39 pm

I don’t think that is the case. Ba’al tashchis still applies, regardless of whether it was paid for or not, it still has a useful function and must be used to its fullest.. just because bh a wedding has plenty of food and its paid for doesnt mean its right to throw out the rest of it.

Thank you
September 12, 2017 10:31 pm

I appreciated this article. After feeling very disturbed by the horrible kaparos system, I contacted my rav about using money and since then my YK feels more meaningful and happier than before.
In general I’m disturbed how in the frum world there seems to be little consideration to caring for animals. We are in a symbiotic relationship and each one is a creation of Hashem. Let’s be more mindful and sympathetic to everyone and everything.

Are the Chickens Wasted
September 12, 2017 10:24 pm

This article is very informative. I would like to know the percentage of chickens slaughtered in Crown Heights that are thrown away my. Would participating in kaporos on an earlier day increase the chances of the chicken being eaten?

September 12, 2017 10:20 pm

Love everything about this article
So factual
So respectfully written
So true

As far as I remember..
September 12, 2017 10:09 pm

I believe the original post addressed this question by saying that by being used for kaparot it is no longer bal tashhis, whether it will be eaten or not.