These days, a new website called kaparot.org.il is being published on behalf of Beit Chabad, which contains the laws and customs of Yom Kippur.
Among other things, you can learn about the following subjects: The prohibitions of Yom Kippur. The holy day’s laws and customs, frequently asked questions with the option of giving to charity through the website.
The custom of Kapparot
For many years, it was customary among the people of Israel to take a chicken on the 9th of Tishrei at dawn, or on any of the ten days of Teshuvah, to spin it around one’s head and to say a short prayer, at the end of which we say that the chicken goes to death and we go to a good, long and peaceful life.
Among the ancient adjudicators, we found a Halakha debate regarding this custom. For example, Shulchan Aruch opposed this custom due to the customs of the Amorites, while Rabbi Moses Isserles justified the custom.
As it happened, nowadays, it became the custom among all the people of Israel to perform this mitzvah during the ten days of Teshuvah.
Kapparot using a chicken or money
Regarding the mitzvah of Kapparot, it is worth noting that despite the fact that many among the people of Israel used to observe the mitzvah using a chicken, there are still those who observe the mitzvah through money.
That is, they take a sum of money that will go to charity, spin it around their head 3 times and say the prayer with a small modification, instead of saying that the chicken will go to death, they say “this money will go to charity”.
The money can be given to those in need or to institutions of the Torah.
Redemption of Kapparot, how much money should be given?
There are different customs, those who give 18 NIS which is Hai (חי) in Gematria.
Others give the value of a chicken, around 30-60 NIS or 180 which is 10 times Hai in Gematria.
Study of Halakha
In the website, you will learn more, among other things
- The custom of saying Selichot
- The laws of the separation meal before the start of the holy day
- Lighting candles on Kippur Eve
- Laws of do’s and dont's
- Prayers said during the holy day
- The clothes of the holy day, and why do we wear a white kittel?
- Why do we even fast on Yom Kippur?
- The 5 prohibitions customary during the holy day
Visiting the graves
Among the people of Israel, it is customary to visit the cemetery on Yom Kippur Eve and to visit the graves. It is best to donate for redemption of Kapparot adjacent to this time.
Today, you can find a Beit Chabad stand for donations at almost every cemetery.
This article was written in cooperation with Beit Chabad