There is no end to the weirdness of religious practices. It looks like animal sacrifices to the gods, a practice that one would have thought had gone extinct, are still seen as a means of removing one’s sins. I recently became aware of this religious ritual practiced by Orthodox Jews known as ‘kaporot’ that seems like it is out of a comedy sketch.
Kaporot is performed in the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement and the most holy day of the year to many Jews. In the ritual, men, women and children swing a white chicken — a sign of purity — above their heads three times as they pray for their sins to be transferred to the chicken.
Then the chicken is slaughtered in a kosher manner by slitting its throat. The meat — or the monetary equivalent — is donated to the poor.
I wonder if the children are present when the chicken’s throat is cut.
There is no mention of whether they do the Chicken Dance during the ritual.
It is tempting to think that there really are gods for each religion and that they are all pranksters competing to see who can make their followers do the most absurd things in their efforts to curry favor with them, and then slapping their thighs and laughing uproariously at the results. The plot of the film The Brand New Testament really does seem much more likely to be a true description of these gods’ intentions than what is described in any of the official religion stories.