I received the following from The Shamayim V’aretz Institute about the cruelty practiced against animals during the kapparos (also spelled kapparot) ceremony that many Orthodox Jews observe. I agree with what is stated and I think it is important for everyone to know about the cruelty. Therefore, I am printing it here. And I will print my own view of the ceremony in a few days.

“One major tenet of Judaism is showing compassion towards all of Hashem’s creations as is evident in the Torah mandate of Tzaar Balei Chayim. However, unfortunately, many people no longer see our holy Torah as being one of mercy and kindness because right before Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year, animals are treated with extreme cruelty at the many kapparos facilities that pop up all over Brooklyn, New Jersey, and around America.

“The animal abuse taking place at these kapparos facilities is well documented. Chickens are denied food and water for days, are left exposed to the elements, and have their toes and feet ripped off due to improper handling of their transport crates. They also sustain other serious injuries such as broken legs and damaged eyes. The standard way of holding the birds during the ritual (by their wings) is extremely inhumane and has been condemned by leading veterinarians and animal scientists such as Dr. Ian Duncan and Dr. Nedim Buyukmihci who say that it causes their ligaments to tear, their wings to break, and extreme agony for the animals. In addition, many (if not most) of the chickens used are thrown in the trash instead of being given to charity. (Attached you will find a video documenting all this.)

“Thankfully most of the Jewish community has come to realize that this practice is inhumane and has no place in our religion. For this reason, it has been essentially banned in three major Israeli cities (Tel Aviv, Petach Tikvah, Rishon Litzion) and leading orthodox Rabbis such as Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, Rabbi Yitzchock Kaduri zt”l, Rabbi David Rosen, Rabbi Chaim David Halevi, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l, and Rabbi Yosef Blau have spoken out against the practice and/or started using coins instead of chickens.

“The Shamayim V’aretz Institute”