kaparot (kah-pah-ROTE) listen


  • n. A ritual performed between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to transfer one's sins to a chicken by swinging it over one's head.

Example Sentences

  • "There were protests against kapparot sweeping across the country."

  • "will be subsidizing the cost of Kaporos chickens for Crown Heights Community. The chickens will cost only $10." (source)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew


  • כּפּרות

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand


      • The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
      • Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

      Alternative Spellings

      kapparot, kapores, kaporos, kaparos, kapparot


  • Singular kapore, kapora - can mean "scapegoat," "punishment."

    "On the eve of Yom Kippur, an individual would swing a chicken over his head three times while praying that his sins would be forgiven. The ritual is almost never practiced in modern times." (JPS)

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