Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Chickens and Turtles and Fish, Oh My!

Today Grandma, Mommy, Daddy, Ami and I piled into the car (there was no room for Zayde!) to go see some chickens. We had to stop along the way to run some errands and I kept wanting to get out and see the chickens, so Grandma placated me with a "pop" (lollipop). When we got to the shuk (open-air market) all the chickens were gone and there were only feathers left. We wandered around and I kept asking for "chickens, chickens." Mommy was sorry she'd told me there would be chickens and thought we might have to go to the petting zoo behind the park if we couldn't find any kapparot to shlug. Daddy did some research and then we drove around awhile and Grandma spotted some chickens in boxes on the side of the road so we pulled over.

The grown-ups swung the chickens over their heads and said a prayer transferring all of the year's sins to the chicken, which would later be slaughtered and donated to poor families to eat. I was getting cranky by that point, but eventually warmed up to the chicken and grabbed its foot, which looked quite interesting. (Grandma said they used to eat chicken feet in the olden days! I'd like to try that.)

People walking by saw Ami doing Kapparot and asked what he could have possibly done wrong this year. Daddy said "this year? He's only two weeks old!" When we were done, the chicken man noticed that Ami was smiling. Grandma said that's because he's a Tzaddik (righteous person). Mommy has been training her to say he is a Tzaddik or a mensch or a good sport instead of saying he's cute. When I was a baby and people called me cute Mommy told them my middot (virtuous characteristics) are what's important. The chicken man turned on his megaphone and announced for all to hear "Tzaddik Gadol" (Big Tzaddik).

After that we dropped Grandma off at home so Zayde could come with us to Tashlich. We drove to the Botanical Gardens and walked down to the water. Mommy told me there would be duckies but there was only one big black swan. There were lots and lots of big, giant fish, and also some turtles with big red eyes. I enjoyed throwing bits of bread (symbolizing our sins) in the water and watching the animals eat them.

We came home with no more sins left. A clean slate for the new year.

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