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Kaparot - Why?

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Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

21 Tishrei 5766
Question
Why do we wave the chicken over our heads during Kaporat? In the Mikdash we would Lean on animals, so why do we wave them over our heads?
Answer
I don’t know for sure the reason for the waving; maybe to illustrate the fact we are replacing the chicken with ourselves. The leaning, on the other hand, is only done with offerings in the temple, the Kapparot are not a sacrifice, they are a symbolic custom the shows us what we may deserve for our bad deeds and a mitzvah of Tzedakah to the poor.
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