Posts on Jewish issues

מקבץ פוסטים שפורסמו במקור ב-Animal Rights in Israel (דף פייסבוק, כיום For Anonymous Animals, בבעלות עמותת אנונימוס).


Peace at the Rosh HaShanah table!

Rosh HaShanah could be one of those evenings where the few family members who reject eating animals sit anxiously without much to eat. Or with a dish or two made especially for the "culinary misfit". Yet Rosh HaShanah could also be a time of full family solidarity around a meal made without harming any animal.

What would your New Year's Eve be like? This may be up to you. The vegan Rosh HaShanah variety is certainly rich enough. You just have to share the variety with the rest of the family. See, for example, the following lists of recipes.

And don't forget to share with us here other pages of vegan Rosh HaShanah recipes!

Vegan Rosh Hashana, by Earth Balance

Vegan Jewish New Year Recipes (Vegetarian-friendly!), by Nava Atlas

Vegan Recipes for Rosh Hashanah


Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, David Lau, issued a call against "unnecessary harm" to chickens during kaparot.

A news story by Yitzhak Tessler on quotes Rabbi Lau asking to "remind you the sacred duty that exists throughout the year, to avoid 'tza'ar ba'alei chayim', to prevent unnecessary animal suffering and pain, and to transfer and take care of them properly. […] In case the chickens will be handled in an inappropriate manner, it is clearly a case of 'Mitzvah Ha’Ba B’Avera' [preforming duty through sin]."

Rabbi Lau concludes that kapparah (atonement) is not dependent on the chicken, but rather on "the meaning of the heart and a full repentance." This declaration is a response to a call from the animal rights charity Let the Animals Live. Although the chief Rabbi's response is careful not to challenge the entire violent custom, his words express clear unease with it.

In practice, neglect and abuse are all too common throughout the kaparot process, and Rabbi Lau's demand to prevent "unnecessary suffering" is not met.

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Selichot days are a good time to think about the neglected victims of our daily habits. None of our victims suffer as much as chickens do. None of them need our repentance as much as they do.

In an awkward way, kaparot helps bringing this insight into light. At no other time of the year do we encounter the cruelty of animal slaughter so openly. The entire process around kaparot and the slaughter itself are certainly horrific, but so is ordinary slaughter. The main difference is that everyday slaughter is hidden from the public eye. Watching the torture closely and looking in the victim's eyes, you can make the right decision.

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