Police probe anti-Semitic e-mail

New York City police are investigating threatening e-mails sent to a Brooklyn rabbi.

The e-mails, allegedly sent as part of a campaign to protest a pre-Yom Kippur ritual involving the mass slaughter of chickens, were said to include anti-Semitic comments, AM New York reported.

Rabbi Shea Hecht issued a statement Tuesday decrying the campaign, organized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA has issued an action alert about the ritual, known as kapporos, urging the public to send e-mails of protest.

PETA has expressed concern about the treatment of animals during kapporos, in which a chicken is “shlugged,” or waved, over a person’s head on the eve of Yom Kippur in a symbolic act of transferring one’s sins to the animal. The chicken is then ritually slaughtered and donated to the poor.

Hecht’s organization, the National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education, organizes a mass public kapporos each year in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, steps from the headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Hecht told JTA that the organization expected to slaughter and process 4,000 chickens this year.

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