Pidyon HaBen

June 20, 2006

Redemption of the (First-Born) Son; by Biblical command, at the age of 30 days, when the son has established a claim to viability, the father is obligated to “redeem” him by giving five “shekalim,” (currently, five silver dollars) to a Kohen, who may or may not choose to keep it, return it to the giver, or donate it to “Tzadakah,” or Charity. This is in lieu of the Plague of the First Born, when Hashem killed all the First-Born of the Egyptians, and spared the Jewish “Bechorim,” or First-Born, by “passing over” the doorposts of the Jews in Egypt, which had been smeared with the blood of the Pesach Sacrifice.