Kapporos is cruel
I am a Torah observant Jew.
Although I am not an expert in Jewish law (halacha), it is my opinion (shared by many qualified rabbis) that the use of live chickens in the ritual of Kapporos is a violation of the Torah prohibitions of cruelty to sentient creatures (and also it is destructive waste).
This ritual, as practiced by a small minority of Jews, is an ancient relic that should be modified.
In many cases, the conditions to which the animals are subjected are appalling. Additionally, veterinary experts affirm that the fowl experience severe pain and terror when they are swung around by their feet or wings.
Many observers have noted that frequently the animals are subsequently discarded rather than donated to charity.
In my opinion, the use of money or foods, used in the same ritualistic manner and then given to charity, accomplishes the goal of Kapporos.
Jerrold Terdiman M.D.
Respect and history
I strongly support an open dialogue between Muslims and Jews, where knowledge can be shared and respect can grow toward the religious beliefs and values that are shared by these two great monotheistic religions. However, I took offense at the lack of historical realities present in Rabbi Dr. Michael Chernick’s article (“Kosher/halal,” September 15). He was so pleased that after seven years of dialogue in the 90s the Muslim participants “articulately and feelingly expressed their understanding that Jews must have a state after the Holocaust.” Unfortunately, he is committing the same mistake that President Obama committed in his Cairo speech.
Jews are not entitled to the land of Israel because they were persecuted by the Germans. Rather, they are entitled to the land because they are the true original indigenous Palestinians, who maintained a presence in the land beginning nearly 2,000 years before the birth of the Muslim religion. They fought many wars and gave their blood, sweat, and tears to maintain the rights of the Jewish people to their historical homeland. That is why they chose to come home to Israel and not Uganda. If an open and honest dialogue is to occur, it should be based on religious and historical truths.
Honoring fallen Druze police
I am a member of the Clifton Jewish Center. Our rabbi, Rabbi Bob Mark, has been collecting money to be sent to the families of the Druze police officers who were murdered by terrorists in Jerusalem.
We feel that it is incumbent upon us to show our support for the actions of these members of the Israeli Druze community who regularly show their loyalty to the State of Israel and put their lives on the line to help preserve the state and all of its people. Many people are unaware that as many as 75 percent of police and army officers in the Old City of Jerusalem are in fact non-Jews. This was explained by the police commander to Rabbi Mark while he was on a rabbinical bond mission to Israel in 2016.
It is very important that these families and the rest of their communities see that Jews outside of Israel appreciate their efforts and sacrifices on behalf of Israel. I urge all who haven’t already done so to contact Rabbi Mark and send their donation for the families of the Druze officers to him at the Clifton Jewish Center, 18 Delaware St., Clifton,NJ 07011. Your donation will certainly be a Hakarat hatov (a recognition of the good), will be creating a Shem tov b’Yisrael (a good name for Israel), and a Kiddush HaShem (a glorification of G-d).
Let us not fail those who supported us with their blood.
I spoke with Rabbi Mark and he said that if anyone has any questions, they can call him at (973) 449-9117.
On Tuesday, September 26, at 8 p.m., as a result of the generosity of those who have already donated, there will be a ceremony at the Clifton Jewish Center to present checks to representatives from the Israeli consulate and the Israeli police. All members of our community are invited to attend.
Howard J. Cohn