How to do the Kaparot before Yom Kippur
The process of Kaparot sweetens and cleanses judgments from us.
The Kaparot process can be done anytime between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur before the fast begins. Read the detailed explanation in the attached PDF.
In the writing of the Ari, Rabbi Chaim Vital describes how his teacher, the Holy Ari, was doing the Kaparot with chicken before Yom Kippur.
Many people follow this process. I decided to do the Kaparot with money for two main reasons. I do not know a trusted Shochet that will do the meditation of the Ari. The one that does it in the morning slaughtering maybe hundreds of chickens may not check his knife frequently for flaws in the blade that would make the slaughter non-Kosher. It may bring judgments on the chicken’s soul and make it non-kosher. Whoever eats the chicken later may eat non-kosher meat, which negatively affects the soul. The improper slaughtering turns the act to have the aspect of cruelty to animals, and the outcome of the Kaparot may not be as intended or desired.
The bottom line is that if you are not sure about the Kosher slaughtering, then it’s better to do the Kaparot with money, as described below.
The process of Kaparot with money is done in a similar way, replacing the live chicken with money. We use $10 US per person. If you live in a country outside the US then check the value of half a shekel as described here: https://dailyzohar.com/?p=16490.
The Half-a-Shekel is a precept from the Torah. It is used to atone (Kapara) for the soul of the Israelites.
The Kaparot process is done any time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, preferably early morning on the day before Yom Kippur.
Read or scan the following nine lines
בְּנֵי אָדָם יוֹשְׁבֵי חשֶׁךְ וְצַלְמָוֶת אֲסִירֵי עֳנִי וּבַרְזֶל
->benei adam yoshevei choshech vetzalmavet asirei oni uvarzel
יוֹצִיאֵם מֵחשֶׁךְ וְצַלְמָוֶת וּמוֹסְרוֹתֵיהֶם יְנַתֵּק
->yotzi’em mechoshech vetzalmavet umoseroteihem yenattek
אֱוִילִים מִדֶּרֶךְ פִּשְׁעָם וּמֵעֲוֹנֹתֵיהֶם יִתְעַנּוּ
->evilim miderech pish’am ume’a’onoteihem yit’annu
כָּל אֹכֶל תְּתַעֵב נַפְשָׁם וַיַּגִּיעוּ עַד שַׁעֲרֵי מָוֶת
->kal ochel teta’ev nafsham vayagi’u ad sha’arei mavet
וַיִּזְעֲקוּ אֶל יהוה בַּצַּר לָהֶם מִמְּצוּקוֹתֵיהֶם יוֹשִׁיעֵם
->vayiz’aku el adonai batzar lahem mimmetzukoteihem yoshi’em
יִשְׁלַח דְּבָרוֹ וְיִרְפָּאֵם וִימַלֵּט מִשְּׁחִיתוֹתָם
->yishlach devaro veyirpa’em vimallet mishechitotam
יוֹדוּ ליהוה חַסְדּוֹ וְנִפְלְאוֹתָיו לִבְנֵי אָדָם
->yodu l’adonai chasdo venifle’otav livnei adam
אִם יֵשׁ עָלָיו מַלְאָךְ מֵלִיץ אֶחָד מִנִּי אָלֶף לְהַגִּיד לְאָדָם יָשְׁרוֹ
->im yesh alav mal’ach melitz echad minni aleflehagid le’adam yashero
וַיְחֻנֶּנּוּ וַיֹּאמֶר פְּדָעֵהוּ מֵרֶדֶת שַׁחַת מָצָאתִי כֹפֶר
->vaychunnennu vayo’mer peda’ehu meredet shachat matza’ti chofer
Place the money (cash, coins, or bills) for Tzedakah inside an envelope or a cloth. Use the same amount for each person. Turn the envelope with the money over the head in a circle, counterclockwise once for each of the three lines in the table below. Pause and say the fourth line.
Repeat the three times, so you will make 9 circles over the head (yours or your children).
RIGHT: (1st Right of Chessed, 2nd left of Chessed, 3rd center of Chessed)
LEFT: (1st Right of Gevurah, 2nd left of Gevurah, 3rd center of Gevurah)
CENTER: (1st Right of Tiferet, 2nd left of Tiferet, 3rd center of Tiferet)
You may do kaparot for your children; just choose the related one column below.
Translation of the text in the above box
1st This is my exchange,
2nd this is my substitute,
3rd this is my expiation (atonement).
4th This money will go to Tzedakah, and I will go to a good, long life and peace
Complete Steps 1 and 2 for each person, then go to step 3
Give the money in the envelope(s) to poor people in need of immediate food and/or shelter. Do it before the start of Yom Kippur by handing out the money, mailing it, or giving it online.
Alternatively and mainly, give the money to those who teach you Torah and Zohar because that Light feeds the hunger for the Light that all people need. That is an important aspect of Tzedakah that draws the life force we need in our lives for the coming year and beyond.
You may make the Tzedakah by supporting the Daily Zohar projects.
You may add to the amount of Tzedakah, increasing the aspect of ‘Life’ in your actions. See the video and explanation on Tzedakah here: https://dailyzohar.com/the-spiritual-aspects-of-tzedakah-and-righteousness/
To make a donation using this link:
With Love, Blessings, and Gemar Chatima Tova to all
PDF version of this article for download and print