Jewish Animal Sacrifice in America’s Streets Protected by Government
By Dave Gahary —
While AMERICAN FREE PRESS reported in December, 2011 on how Orthodox Jewish child sex predators are protected by various American law enforcement authorities, we can now add hundreds of thousands of chickens to the list of victims the government will turn a blind eye to, as long as they’re being abused by Jews, as a Jewish ritual practiced on the eve of a major Jewish holiday is shining a bright light on how political influence can trump even the vilest of religious practices.
Kapparot, or kaporos, where an Orthodox Jew, or frum, swings a live chicken over their head three times and then slaughters them, is occurring in the streets of Hasidic neighborhoods across America this week in preparation for the holiest day of the year for Jews, the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.
However, it’s not just an innocent whirl around a yarmulke and a quick slice to the throat for these birds, but hundreds of hours of torture, where they spend the last few days of their lives in miserable pain and unimaginable agony.
The origin of the practice finds its roots in the Bible, in the book of Isaiah. Although it was strongly opposed by some rabbis, it was approved by others in the ninth century, and the practice became generally accepted among the Jews of Eastern Europe, whose offspring migrated to our shores with their peculiar form of animal sacrifice.
Karen Davis is the founder and president of United Poultry Concerns (UPC), a 24-year-old nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of chickens, turkeys, ducks, and other domesticated fowl. She became aware of the ritual in 1994, when people from New York City, where a high percentage of Jews reside, tipped her off to the practice.
“They were very distressed about the chickens being forced to sit in transport crates out on the streets of the city, without food, water or any shelter or really any attention from anybody,” Ms. Davis explained.
“Kaporos is a medieval custom whereby a man is supposed to swing a rooster and a woman is supposed to swing a hen, over their heads, and recite a chant, which basically says, ‘I’m passing my sins and punishment onto you, this chicken, who is going to suffer and die in my place so that I can have a long and happy life.’”
“One of the cruelest aspects of this ritual is how the practitioners hold the birds by their wings,” Davis explained. “They actually suspend the chickens by their wings and often will just stand around and chat with one another, holding these birds in this totally inhumane way, which is both painful for the birds and potentially injurious. They’ll just be holding the birds as if they had a large bag of groceries they were holding down at their sides, with no show at all of any glimmer of compassion for these birds.”
“The birds are trucked in from factory farms, and by the time they appear on the city streets, they might have already not had any food or water for nine, 10, 12 or more hours. Then they sit out on the streets immobilized in transport crates and are not given any food, water or any relief from the weather.”
“Last year,” Davis informed, “2,500 chickens died of heat stress because of the unusually warm weather in late September.”
The Jews treat the chickens this way on purpose.
“They’re treated like what they are intended to be in the ritual, punished objects,” she explained. “The only role of the chicken in the ritual is to be a symbolic recipient of the sins or wrongdoings and the punishment of the practitioner, to be mistreated, to be punished.”
Although numerous anti-cruelty and health code laws are being violated, the states of New York and New Jersey not only turn a blind eye, but dispatch police to protect the abusers, all at taxpayer expense.
“The Hasidic community give[s] a lot of money to politicians, and the word comes down from on high that they are not supposed to be touched,” Davis said. “The police are always there when we, the protesters, are there, to protect the practitioners, to be allowed to conduct their illegal practices. It’s a political thing which is based on a lot of money going into the pockets of the powers-that-be.”
“They’re allowed to do these illegal things, slaughtering thousands of birds in open-air tents in residential areas, allowing blood and feces and feathers to be in drains, to be floating in the air, where city law enforcement should be enforcing, but due to the politics of things, they are allowing these practitioners to break the law, year after year.”
Jewish spokespersons and print and online material claim the slaughtered birds are donated to the poor, but this is simply a public relations ploy.
The all-powerful rabbis “mislead their practitioners into thinking that the majority of these chickens are going to go to the poor, but in fact most of the birds don’t,” Davis explained.
“They throw dead and alive birds with cut throats who are still alive and writhing in pain and often crying, into big black plastic trash bags and leave them there on the street or throw them into dumpsters, which are often seeping with blood coming out into the drains and gutters, and they leave them there for the city sanitation workers to cart off to landfills.”
Another factor at play here is the money to be made off the suffering of these chickens by the rabbis who sanction the ritual, where the birds are purchased for a few dollars and sold to members of the congregation for a lot more.
“They’re selling them for anywhere from $18 to $26,” Davis said. “So in the guise of religion, those who are leading the ritual, the temples and the rabbis, are saying that, “Oh, we have to have this ritual,’ and are keen on maintaining it because they make a lot of money out of it.”
Although the United States Supreme Court upheld First Amendment protections to Santeria adherents to practice ritual animal sacrifice in the 1993 decision Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, laws are still being violated.
“At most the ritual itself is protected, unfortunately, by the First Amendment,” Davis explained, “but birds being forced to sit in a transport crate on city streets without any care at all, is not protected. And the First Amendment does not supersede the health codes of the city of New York or the State anti-cruelty statute.”
The numbers of tortured and slaughtered chickens can easily run into the hundreds of thousands during the days leading up to the holiday, due to the fertility rates of these Hasidic communities and the ritual’s rules.
Although one chicken is sacrificed for each Jew, and the average Hasidic family has between six and seven children, three chickens are abused and slaughtered for pregnant women, and varying numbers of birds are used for individuals and in varying conditions.
“I have heard that that they use as many as anywhere from 50-to-65,000 chickens in New York altogether,” Davis said.
Just in the town of Lakewood, New Jersey, where around 100,000 Hasidic Jews reside, which this newspaper reported on in June of this year, upwards of 150,000 chickens may pay the ultimate price so a Hasidic Jew can feel good about their future.
The ringleaders of this foul practice sometimes use the “anti-Semitism” card to fend off criticism, and Ms. Davis and the organization have had accusations of “anti-Semitism” hurled against them in the past.
“To suggest that this is about anti-Semitism is ridiculous,” Davis said. “This is not about anti-Semitism; it’s about extreme animal cruelty that is practiced by this particular group of people who are Jewish. But for them to say this is anti-Semitic is to be put on the defensive, so we should hurry and try to defend ourselves against charges of anti-Semitism. We don’t even get into that. These are people who are treating chickens cruelly, and that is why we are on their case.”
All hope is not lost, as there has been progress made.
In the Pico-Robertson neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, a few chicken torture/slaughter sites have been shut down for health code violations, and UPC is pursuing a Freedom of Information Act request to find out whether permits are filed for the rituals in N.Y.
In New Jersey, Bill Sleight, a former Garden State police officer and former member of the enforcement arm of the N.J. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NJSPCA), is a thorn in the side of Lakewood’s Hasidic community.
The first night the birds arrived in that shore town, Sleight went undercover wearing a yarmulke, and mingled with the crowd.
“I said, ‘You know, we don’t have to do this. These birds aren’t getting water. How could you not give them water?’”
“A man replied, ‘Get serious, we don’t water them. Listen, anybody wants to complain, they should care more about ISIS cutting people’s heads off then us cutting off the chickens’.’”
Sleight witnessed a wall of chickens languishing on the street.
They were “nine crates high and four deep,” he said, “and have been here since sundown last night; no food, no water.”
“The [New Jersey] Department of Agriculture [NJDA] regulations say they can’t be in the crates more than 18 hours,” Sleight explained. “Well, it’s certainly over that.”
Sleight thought of contacting the NJDA, but it was a Sunday. Same with the NJSPCA.
On Monday he was able to speak with the NJDA, who told him they were aware of the matter and suggested he fill out an online complaint form.
“I can’t reach anybody,” the former cop and NJSPCA investigator said. “Nobody wants to [expletive deleted] with them.”
This reporter asked Sleight if he was aware of any enforcement actions taken against the practitioners.
“Never done anything, I know that,” he said.
Sleight witnessed a trailer dropping upwards of 3,000 chickens in front of a yeshiva, a Jewish school.
“They dropped about eight o’clock that night,” he said. “The next day they were still in there, and they didn’t start unloading them until one o’clock.”
With the temperature soaring to 90°, Sleight tried to talk to the frum who came to throw him off the property, with no success.
“I came back at five o’clock, and they were actually loading them up again,” he said.
Sleight explained what happened when he tried to help an injured chicken.
“I see a bird that’s hurt,” he began. “They hire these little, Jewish kids to take the birds out of the crates; 10, 11, 12-year-olds. They hold it up by the wings. That’s gotta hurt. They’re grabbing them, and they’re rough. They’re rough because they’re doing it fast, and they’re stupid kids, you know, they’re kids! So I see this chicken with a little blood on his back, like the birds picked on him. Well, once a bird is damaged, it’s like kosher, you can’t touch it now. They can’t use it in their voodoo dance.”
Sleight tried to buy the chicken, but the rabbi refused.
“He said, ‘We don’t sell to you,’ and I said, ‘Whaddya mean you don’t sell to me, I wanna buy a bird.’ He said, ‘This is for religious practices only,’ and I said, ‘Well not that one over there. He’s wounded, and that’s the one I want.’ ‘We don’t sell to you,’ he said. I said, ‘What, to the goys?’ and he said, ‘We’re not in the chicken business with the goyim, we don’t sell to you.’”
The rabbi gestured with his hand for Sleight to go away.
Undeterred, Sleight approached two separate frums to ask if they would buy the bird for him, but they both declined, citing religious reasons and not wanting to lie to the rabbi. He eventually coaxed, with a $20 bill, a Mexican day laborer to get him the chicken when the rabbi wasn’t around.”
“I looked at the bird and realized it had a compound fracture of the wing,” he said. “From grabbing it, they snapped its wing.”
One of the frums, an 18-year-old, got Sleight a box, and while he and Sleight were walking down the street with it, the frum that kicked him off the property earlier in the day accosted him.
“He comes running across the street, cuts me off, and grabs the box,” he said.
Sleight’s companion said, “I gave him that chicken,” and the man said “It’s not yours to give to them.”
“He pulled the box so hard,” Sleight explained, “it ripped open and the chicken fell out, and they grabbed the chicken and they ran off.”
Soon after, Sleight found out two Lakewood police cars were looking for him.
“I was a cop; I know how to duck cops. You walk down the street and you walk into an apartment complex and they lose you. That’s what I did. But I was watching them and they were circling the block looking for this guy that ‘assaulted’ one of the Jews.”
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|The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos is an association of groups and individuals who seek to replace the use of chickens in Kaporos ceremonies with money or other non-animal symbols of atonement. The Alliance does not oppose Kaporos per se, only the cruel and unnecessary use of chickens in the ceremony.
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Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos.
Hasidic Rabbi Yonassan Gershom speaks out.
(60 second video)