Jews make chickens giddy

You couldn’t make this up could you. But where did it originate from?

There is a hilarious ritual undertaken by Orthodox Jews on the eve of Yum Kippur. You can see public displays of this ritual in Jerusalem next to walls. Basically, they take a chicken (a rooster for a man or a hen for a woman), and repeatedly swing said chicken over their heads in order to absorb all the previous year’s sins.

This is absolutely true, and is called Kaparos. They do this whilst reading or chanting a prayer. I’ve no idea how long the chicken waving ritual lasts, but the dizzy and confused chicken is later slaughtered and given to the poor.

Now then. Any Jew can perform Kaparos, especially if they want all their sins washed away, but the sight of stoney-faced orthodox Jews doing a bit of chicken swinging has to be the most hilarious things available to onlookers.

So, what clever leader decided to introduce this activity into their rituals? And were they being serious?