(JTA) — An animal rights group is suing several rabbis, synagogues and New York City to halt a Yom Kippur ritual in which chickens are slaughtered.
The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporas filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court against the kapparot ritual, which is practiced by haredi Orthodox Jews in the city, New York media reported Monday.
Kapparot involves swinging a live chicken over one’s head three times and reciting a prayer to cast sins to the bird. The chicken is then slaughtered and donated to the poor. In recent years, money has replaced the chicken in the rite for many Jewish groups.
The lawsuit accuses the police and health departments of assisting the ritual by blocking off streets and sidewalks, and not enforcing city and state laws that regulate health and animal cruelty issues, the New York Daily News reported.