The pre-Yom Kippur atonement ritual of kaporos practiced by Ashkenazi Jews, in which a chicken is twirled over the head of the penitent, gave rise to one of the more biting Yiddish sayings. That saying which my late mother used to describe someone who is utterly clueless about a certain topic or situation is “that he understands as much as a chicken by kaporos.” That saying can be used to describe how much most non-Orthodox American Jews understands about Purim. To most American Jews, Purim is the Jewish Halloween. It is a time for frivolity, masquerading and, all too often,…
Read this and all the rest of our Members articles, no strings attached!
- Daily feature articles.
- Access our entire archive.
- Cancel anytime.