A Day of Atonement
There is an ancient Jewish custom of performing the rite of KAPPAROS (symbolic atonement) on the day preceding Yom Kippur. The rite consists of taking a chicken in ones hand and reciting a certain text, the bird is then waved over one’s head three times.



Chabad's Kaparot Chicken Help the Needy: Colel Chabad has come up with a solution to the many chickens that are slaughtered as part of the Kaparot ceremony: Feed them to the needy.

One of the customs of erev Yom Kippur, the day before the fast, is the mystical Kaparot ceremony, carried out by prescribing a circular motion three times above a person's head while saying a prayer that symbolically "exchanges" the object above his head for him. Symbolically, the switch absolves a person of transgressions and the punishment for them, by transferring them to another object which takes his place (INN, 10/7/2011 ).

The word KAPPAROS (like kippur) means ”atonement,” and is used to refer to the chicken themselves, but one should not think that kapparos serve as a source of atonement. It is customary to redeem the kapparos for money, which is then given to the poor, or the fowl is given to the poor. Others perform the rite only with money, giving the money to charity.

Daniel 4:24 “And with charity you will remove your sin, and your iniquity by showing mercy to the poor,..*
Proverbs 21:21 “He who pursues charity and kindness will find life, charity, and honor.” Proverbs 12:28 "In the road of charity is life, and [on] the way of its path there is no death."

Psalm 41:2-3 ”Praiseworthy is he who looks after the poor; on a day of calamity (day of evil) the Lord will rescue him. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive, and he will be praised in the land, and You will not deliver him into the desire of his enemies.”

It is customary to give charity generously and liberally during all the days of repentance, but on Erev Yom Kippur this is even more the case, for tzedakah (charity) is a great source of merit and serves as protection against harsh decrees.

Proverbs 10:2 “Treasures of wickedness will not avail, but charity will save from death.” Though a person may be very wicked, he is still rewarded for any good he may have done. Proverbs 11:4 “
Riches will not avail on the day of wrath, but charity will save from death.


Chicken-Waving: Superstition or Holy Custom?

 

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/139595


The chickens themselves serve as a means to bring a person to the awareness that he might very well be deserving of death because of his sins and he will thereby be motivated to repent and ask God for mercy. The fowl is slaughtered in accordance wilt halacha, and the inner parts are discarded to a place where the birds can find them.

 

The symbolism of kapparos serves as a warning to man. If a harsh decree has been  issued against the Jews, that God forbid, the flesh of our people serve as fodder for the birds and animals, we symbolically express our hope that the decree be fulfilled through the fowl that we use for “kapparos” (like “kippur”, means “atonement”), praying that we instead be granted long and peaceful lives.

Just before his death Moses gave a chilling prophecy of the horrors that would befall the Jewish people if they spurned God and the Torah: Deut. 28:15,25-26 “And it will be, if you do not obey the Lord, your God, to observe to fulfill all His commandments and statutes which I am commanding you this day, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you. The Lord will cause you to be broken before your enemy: you will come out against them in one direction, but you will flee from them in seven directions. And you will become a terrifying [example] to all the kingdoms on earth. Your corpse will be food for all birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth."

The Molech cult, involving child sacrifice brought calamity and exile. "For the sons of Judah have done what is evil in My eyes, says the Lord; they placed their abominations in the house upon which My name is called, to pollute it... And the carcasses of this people shall be for food for the fowl of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth, and no one will frighten them." (Jeremiah 7:30-34, Ch. 16, 19:1-7).

 

The punishment for violating the covenant was for ”the leaders of Jerusalem and Judah to be delivered into the hands of their enemies (Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonians) and into the hand of those who seek their soul, their corpses will be food for the bird of heavens and the beast of the land” (Jeremiah 34:19-20, 16:11-12, Tzefaniah Ch. 1).


The Torah therefore admonishes the children of Israel never to offer human sacrifices, and forewarned Jewish people of terrible consequences if this commandment were violated. 

This message was carefully communicated at Mt.  Moriah where Abraham was prepared to offer up his beloved son Isaac as a sacrifice. At that crucial juncture in history when Abraham was ready to sacrifice Isaac, the Almighty admonished him that He did not want the human sacrifice, and directed Abraham to sacrifice the ram caught in the thicket instead. The Almighty's directive -- that he only wanted animal sacrifices rather than human sacrifices -- was immediately understood. This teaching has never departed from the mind and soul of the faithful children of Israel.


Could Jesus' Death Atone For Any Kind of Sin?

 

http://www.outreachjudaism .org/faq


A Palestinian Mother: I am Proud to Send My Son on a Suicide Mission: Um Nadil, a Palestinian mother, encouraged her son, a Hamas operative, to carry out a suicide terrorist attack against an Israeli target. In an interview on Al Jazeera television (29 June 2002), she explains her Islamic perspective and her motives as a mother who "sacrificed" her child.

http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=13778   

Deuteronomy 4:27-31 and Ch. 30 is a prophecy concerning the end of days, when Israel will face the choice between the blessing or the curse, i.e., to accept the Torah or not, the eventual repentance and redemption; when Israel will repent, return to the Lord and His Torah, and will be brought back to their land.

Deuteronomy 30:7 "And the Lord, your God, will place all these curses upon your enemies and upon your adversaries, who pursued you." See Genesis 12:3.

Ezekiel 38:8 "From many days you (Gog) will be remembered; at the end of the years you will come to a land [whose inhabitants] returned from the sword, gathered from many peoples, upon the mountains of Israel, which had been continually laid waste, but it was liberated from the nations, and they all dwelt securely."

Ezekiel Ch. 39:1-5 is a prophecy of the war of Gog and Magog, depicting the miraculous overthrow of their invading hordes on the hills and mountains of Israel, where they will be prey for the wild birds and beasts of the field. Ezekiel 39:17-20 depicts the winged bird and the beast of the earth feasting on Gog’s multitude and officers upon the mountains of Israel.

Tzefaniah 1:14-18 "The great day of the LORD is near, it is near and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD, wherein the mighty man crieth bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the horn and alarm, against the fortified cities, and against the high towers. 


And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the LORD; and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole earth shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy; for He will make and end, yea, a terrible end, of all them that dwell in the earth." See Joel Ch. 2, Isaiah Ch. 24, Zechariah 13:8-9. 

Micah 7:7-13 "But as for me (Israel), I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; though I am fallen, I shall arise; though I sit in darkness, the LORD is a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against Him; until He plead my cause, and execute judgment for me; He will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold His righteousness."  

The future redemption will come when Israel 's suffering for her sins is complete. The scales will then be turned against her enemies, who taunted her during the exile but who will be covered with shame in the end.

"Then mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her (Rome); who said unto me: Where is the LORD thy God? Mine eyes shall gaze upon her; now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.' 'The day for building thy walls, even that day, shall be far removed.'

There shall be a day when they shall come unto thee, from Assyria even to the cities of Egypt, and from Egypt even to the River, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain.
And the land (of the enemies) shall be desolate for them that dwell therein, because of the fruit of their doings."

The prophet says that while the nations mocked Israel saying that her hoped-for day of redemption would never come, that day is in fact guarded and treasured by God as the day on which their enemies will come to destroy them (Rashi). See Zechariah 12:1-3,9, 14:1-3,12-16, Isaiah Ch. 66.

Jeremiah 30:7-11 "Ho! For that day is great (the day of the downfall of Gog), with none like it, and it is a time of distress for Jacob, through which he shall be saved. And it shall be on that day, says the Lord of Hosts, [that] I will break his (the Gentiles') yoke off your neck, and I will break your thongs, and strangers shall no longer enslave them.

And they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will set up for them. And you, fear not, My servant Jacob, says the Lord, and do not be dismayed, O Israel, for behold I save you from afar and your seed from the land of their captivity, and Jacob shall again be silent and at ease, and no one will frighten them. For I am with you, says the Lord, to save you, for I will make an end of all the nations where I dispersed you, but of you I will not make an end, but I will chasten you in measure (according to the Law of the Torah), and I will not completely destroy you." See Deuteronomy 6:24-25, Isaiah 32:17-18, 48:17-19.

 

1 Samuel 17:44-47,49 ”And the Philistine  said to David, "Come to me, and I shall give your flesh to the fowl of the air, and to the cattle of the field." And David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with spear and javelin, and I come to you with the Name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel which you have taunted.

 

This day, the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I shall slay you, and take off your head, and I shall give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines this day, to the fowl of the air and to the beasts of the earth, and all the earth shall know that Israel has a God. And all this assembly shall know that not with sword and javelin does the Lord save, for the battle is the Lord's, and He will deliver you into our hand."

 

”And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone (knowledge of God), and slung it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead; and the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell upon his face to the earth.” 

"They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9, Daniel 2:35, Habakkuk 2:11-14).

And when "the earth is filled with the knowledge of God;"  Psalms 22:28 "All the ends of the earth shall remember and return to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall prostrate themselves before You." Zechariah 14:9 "And the Lord shall become King over all the earth; on that day shall the Lord be one, and His name one." See also Tzefaniah 3:8-9, Genesis 11:1, Deuteronomy 6:4. May there be peace and unity in our days. Amen. 

On Yom Kippur God seals our fate for the coming year. On Yom Kippur we read from the book of Jonah, where we learn about the greatness of teshuvah (repentance), how God is always ready to forgive the sinner if he returns to God sincerely.

Jonah 3:5-10 "And the people of Nineveh believed God; and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. And the tidings reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne,.. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying: 'Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing; let them not feed, nor drink water; but let them be covered with sackcloth, both man and beast, and let them cry mightily unto God; yea, LET THEM TURN EVERY ONE FROM HIS EVIL WAY, AND FROM THE VIOLENCE (hamas) THAT IS IN THEIR HANDS. Who knoweth whether God will not turn and repent, and turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not?'


The task of the prophet Jonah was to bring the people to repentance as the world was under the dark shadow of severe Judgments owing to the wickedness of the peoples.


"And God saw their works (deeds), that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, which He said He would do unto them; and He did it not." God forgave the people after they repented of their iniquity, without any blood sacrifice. Isaiah 55:6-9. 

LISTEN FOR FREE: Sin and Atonement : Who Needs the Blood? By Rabbi Tovia Singer

There is no article of faith that is more central to the Church than the belief in the atoning value of Jesus’ sacrificial death at Calvary. Missionaries never miss an opportunity to point out the inability to expiate sin “without the shedding of blood.” Is this claim really true? In this crucial lecture, Rabbi Singer compares the concepts of sin and atonement as set forth by Christianity and Judaism utilizing a thorough presentation of their biblical sources. 

http://www.outreachjudaism.org/faq


The Prophets are describing a endtime scenario; the Jewish people being beleaguered and is about to loose their land. They will then call for a holy fast, and pray that God will spare His people. "And the Lord was zealous for His land, and He pitied His people" (Joel 2:12-27).

May God shower His blessings of joy and peace over everyone of us in the year to come. May He let this Yom Kippur be a positive and new start for everyone of us. Isaiah 55:7 "The wicked shall give up his way, and the man of iniquity his thoughts, and he shall return to the Lord, Who shall have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon."

Jews are well-diggers. It's an occupation inherited from the forefathers. And a well of information about Yom Kippur can be found here:

http://www.chabad.org/

Recommended: The Book Of Our Heritage: The Jewish Year And Its Days Of Significance By Eliyahu Kitov (Feldheim Publishers).