Christmas pigs raised by Jewish farmers get pardoned by Miami’s Jewish mayor

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(JTA) — A Cuban restaurant is no place for a Jewish piglet to be so close to Christmas — unless of course, that pig is being pardoned in Miami’s annual pig pardoning ceremony.

Since 2017, Miami has celebrated a pig pardoning event ahead of Christmas in recognition of the large Hispanic population in the South Florida city.

While turkey may be the animal more typically associated with holiday animal pardoning ceremonies, pork is the more popular holiday centerpiece among Latin-American families, hence the city’s pig pardoning ceremony.

This year’s pigs — named Manchita, David, Shlomo, and Sakura — were raised by Yariv and Asuka Mashav, two Jewish farmers who raise goats, ducks and pigs on their South Florida farm. The piglets were pardoned by Miami Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who is also Jewish.

“So this may sound like bad news for pork lovers, but it’s a great thing if you’re a pig since your Christmas-related activities in Miami-Dade County primarily include slowly rotating over an open fire,” Levine Cava said at the ceremony, according to NPR.

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After the ceremony, the pigs will move to a foster home where they won’t have to worry about becoming somebody’s dinner. Not they were ever in much danger.

“It’s not kosher. They’re very safe in a Jewish house,” Yariv told NPR.


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