The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 6 July 2013 / 27 Tammuz 5773

Pidyon Haben Becomes Popular

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Secular Jews in Israel are beginning to show interest in fulfilling the mitzvah of pidyon haben – redemption of the first-born son.

While circumcision has long been an accepted practice even among the non-religious, the same has not been true of pidyon haben, which many secular Israelis have mistakenly viewed as some sort of folklore.

To make such Jews more familiar with the meaning and details of this mitzvah a conference was held not long ago in Jerusalem by the Tzohar organization. The organizers said that in the last two, three years interest in pidyon haben has been growing and the conference was intended to provide answers to questions about the practice.

Observers of this phenomenon are hoping that the renewed redemption of the first-born among all Jews will hasten the ultimate redemption of G-d's "first-born" – the People of Israel.

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