A brawl broke out Tuesday at the Great Synagogue in Petah Tikva between animal rights activists and people who’d come to perform a Yom Kippur ritual involving swinging a chicken.
The ritual, known in Hebrew as kapparot, involves reciting prayers while swinging a chicken around your head three times in the belief that one transfers one’s sins to the chicken ahead of the Day of Atonement. The chicken is then slaughtered and donated to the poor. In recent years, money has replaced the chicken in the rite for many Jewish groups.
Police were called to the scene and broke up the dust-up, which involved hundreds of people, according to Army Radio. Three animal rights activists were arrested.
Tuesday’s scuffle was the second in recent days, after animal rights activists clashed with ultra-Orthodox Jews in the port city of Ashdod over the same ritual.
The police said that the protesters used tear gas on those participating in the ritual, NRG reported. One person was hospitalized after suffering a reaction to the effects of the gas.
A New York judge recently ruled that the ritual was not a public nuisance and could proceed unhindered.
JTA contributed to this report.