Pidyon Haben 101
April 13, 2011
So who exactly gets a Pidyon HaBen?
April 13, 2011

The Pidyon Haben Ceremony in 7 easy steps!

1) Find a Kohen who will be happy to partake in this special ceremony. If you are unsure who to choose confer with your local rabbi who will be able to help you.

2) You will need five silver coins, containing approximately 110 grams of silver. Five U.S. silver dollars are often used, though the specific type of coins depends on where you are in the world. Once again – if in doubt ask your rabbi.

3) The ceremony is held when the baby is 31 days old. If the 31st day is Shabbat, the ceremony is held the following day.

4) The ceremony is held in the context of a festive meal. Traditionally, the baby is brought in on a silver tray decorated with jewelry which symbolizes how precious this mizvah is to us.

5) The actual ceremony is as follows: The father attests to the fact that this is indeed his first-born son. The Kohen then asks the father: “Which do you prefer, to give me your first born or to redeem him?” (It is really a rhetorical question, because the Torah requires the father to redeem the son.)

6) The father answers (that he would prefer to redeem the boy) and recites the following two blessings:

(1) Baruch ata Adonai, Elo-heinu Melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu bi’mitzvotav, vi’tzivanu al Pidyon ha’ben.Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who sanctified us with His mitzvot, and instructed us regarding the redemption of a son.

(2) Baruch ata Adonai, Elo-heinu Melech ha’olam, Sheh-he-che-yanu vi-kee-yimanu Vi-hee-gee-yanu laz-man ha-zeh.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

7) The father then gives the coins to the Kohen, who blesses the child, and recites a blessing over a cup of wine.

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