23 September 2011

Kapparot: Cruel and Unusual or Ancient Tradition?

The tradition of kapparot is an interesting and, for some, controversial institution.  The basic idea is that before Yom Kippur, the day in which Jews pray for and believe that they are atoned by God for their sins, whatever atonement means, they symbolically transfer their sins into a rooster.  The rooster is then ritually slaughtered, in place of the person, and the food distributed to the poor.  The idea comes from the fact that the hebrew word for man and rooster is the same, גבר gever.  

Anyway, it is a practice which I find goes against some basic Torah ideas and that I practice with money instead.  My giving money for charity in place of the rooster I am attempting to evoke compassion from God by doing compassion myself.  For more discussion on this topic please see this article in the Jerusalem Post and see after the jump for Professor Richard Schwartz's article on Kapparot as well:

Rosh Hashanah and Vegetarianism by JVNA Pres. Prof. Richard Schwartz

I know it has been awhile since my last post, but life has been pretty nuts.  Just settling into a new home, a new school, and a new job can be pretty exhausting.  I shall be updating with more creative posts soon but for now here is an excellent article for the upcoming holiday written by JVNA president Professor Richard Schwartz.  The JVNA has been instrumental in spreading the message of (what I think is JudeoVeganism basically) Jewish Vegetarianism.  It is not only that being a veg is moral, ethical, environmental, etc. but it can be tied to Jewish ideas as well.  Anyway, without further ado check after the jump for the article!

22 August 2011

Diversity within Orthodoxy

This past shabbos my friends and I discovered a packet from Edah, a now defunct Orthodox organization that has been subsumed into my yeshiva, Yeshivat Chovovei Torah.  This is a list of various attitudes within Orthodoxy toward a variety of topics.  Which one do you fit into the best, or if you do not identify as Orthodox, which do you think is the most prevalent in the Orthodox community? Leave me your thoughts in the comments, I'd be interested to see what we all think of this attempt to broadly yet carefully define Orthodoxy.

Click me!! --->  Diverse Orthodox Attitudes