Re: “Judge weighs lawsuit aimed at stopping kosher slaughter of chickens in Jewish ritual” [News, June 20]: A lawsuit has been filed against the Chabad of Irvine by the San Diego-based Animal Protection and Rescue League wanting to stop what it considers an inhumane act by members of the Jewish community in observing the annual tradition of Kapparot. The use of chickens in a centuries-old belief that a blessing is given to those by waving a chicken over their heads three times and reciting the proper words violates state laws against animal cruelty. Many respected Jewish leaders believe this is a pagan ritual that has no mention in the Torah and should be abolished. Believers feel this has been part of their religious heritage for centuries and should be allowed to continue. The belief and the words spoken are meant to transfer the coming years of hardship to the chickens.
Nowhere did the article state what was cruel to the chickens. On further examination into the treatment of the chickens, it has been found that they are placed in cramped cages for days on end without food or water, living in their own excrement prior to their use. If this is the practice today, then it must be viewed as barbaric by most standards and must end. Knowledgeable people feel the same blessings can be accomplished by placing coins in a bag thereby eliminating the use of chickens.
— Barry Wasserman, Huntington Beach
Define your terms
Recent attacks on civilians, religious groups or otherwise in Britain, Belgium and now in Michigan are labeled “terrorism.” Webster defines terrorism as “the systematic use of terror to as a means of coercion.” In this regard, every act of violence toward another person is terrorism that should be treated as such with or without mitigating circumstances — whether it be a drive-by shootings, domestic violence or road rage.
All of these instances merit adjudication on a case by case basis in a court of law. Our media-driven world is…