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1,121. The Pidyon HaBen Ceremony
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164:4 The father brings the baby to the kohein and tells him that he is the first-born, who “opened the womb” of a Jewish mother. He brings the equivalent of five silver shekels in coin or merchandise and places it before the kohein. He says to the kohein, “This is my son, my first born…” […]
1,120. When to Perform Pidyon HaBen
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164:2 If the father told one kohein he would redeem his son from him, he may not change his mind. If he did change his mind and redeemed the baby from another kohein, the redemption is valid. 164:3 We don’t redeem the first-born son until he is more that thirty days old. We redeem him […]
1,119. The Meal Celebrating a Bris
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163:8 The practice is to make a festive meal on the day of the bris because every mitzvah that the Jews received with joy is still observed with joy, as per Psalms 119:162, “I rejoice at Your word,” which we are told refers to bris milah. One who has the means to make a proper […]
1,118. A Baby Who Died Uncircumcised
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163:6 If a baby was born at twilight or immediately before, a Torah scholar should be consulted regarding when to have the bris. 163:7 If a baby died before being circumcised, whether it was within the first eight days or after, he is circumcised at the time of burial so that he should not be […]
1,117. A Baby Who is Sick
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163:4 We must not circumcise a baby who might be sick because safeguarding life takes precedence. This is because a bris can always be performed later but it’s impossible to restore a lost life. See Yoreh Deah 262-263 regarding when to circumcise a baby who was sick and recovered. As soon as the baby is […]
1,116. Standing at a Bris
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163:2 The practice is for the guests at a bris to stand as per II Kings 23:3, “the people stood at the covenant.” This excludes the sandek, who sits holding the baby. After the father has recited the bracha (see 163:1, above), the others respond “amen,” followed by, “Just as he has been brought into […]
1,115. Bris Milah
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162:14 There are many laws regarding a mikvah. Wherever they make a mikvah, it should only be done by a learned and pious rabbi who us an expert in such matters. When any change, great or small, happens in the mikvah, an authority should immediately be consulted. Similarly, when the mikvah needs to emptied and […]
1,114. (Not) Immersing in a River
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162:12 Many great Torah authorities maintained that immersion in a river is not valid except when the river is small enough that we know for sure that it wasn’t swollen by rainwater or melting snow. This is because rainwater and melted snow only purify when they are in a mikvah, not when they are flowing […]
1,113. Being Discreet
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162:10 A woman should be discreet about her immersion and not publicize the night she goes to the mikvah. She should not go publicly so that people won’t recognize her. Regarding one who doesn’t act in this manner, we metaphorically apply the verse “cursed be the one who lies with any sort of beast” (Deuteronomy […]
OU Kosher’s Primer For the Shemittah Year
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“The laws governing the shemittah year were designed to strengthen the Jewish people’s trust in Hashem and to serve as a reminder that as important as our efforts are, ultimately everything comes from above.  It is an opportunity, every seven years, to witness the manifestation of Hashem’s presence in the world.” As we are little […]