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Sep 10, 2013

Interesting Psak: One Chicken per family

Kapparos can present a problem for some people. With holidays approaching, people have mounting expenses. At the same time, one has to do kapparos, which can also be a significant expense. Whether you use money or chickens, or fish or flowers, if you have a large family, the cost can be significant. Now it can be even more difficult, with the recent increases in taxes and budget cuts and kollel stipend cuts..

A Chabad rabbi in Lod found a solution for people struggling for whom a chicken per person is too significant of an expense. Rav Avraham Alashvili says, with the approval of the Chief Rabbi of Lod Rav Baruch Boaz Yorkovitz, that families can use one chicken for the entire family, if the family cannot handle the expense of acquiring chickens for each person separately..

Rav Alashvili justifies his psak by claiming that the merchants jack the prices of chickens up making it unreasonably expensive. He points to the Shulchan Aruch that says that when the merchants jack up the prices of fish, people should not buy fish for shabbos.

With the cost of a chicken being supposedly in the range of 50 NIS each, it gives another good reason to use money instead of chickens - there is no specific sum necessary, and the money goes to tzedaka. Even if you say you must use the amount of money to cover the cost of a meal, by Purim I have heard rabbonim say that value is in the range of 10-15 NIS - i.e. the cost of a falafel.

If you are still going to use chickens and the cost is too great, you can now consider using one..

(source: Ladaat)

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  1. One nitpick - one does not "have" to do kapparos. Kapparos is a minhag, not halacha.

  2. 50NIS a chicken? Are you eating Edah chickens?
    The cost of reasonable schoheted badatz chicken might be around 19NIS/kg now, but the price of a live chicken should be even less.


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