Question:

Dear Rabbi,

I grew up in a family not to be orthodox and well not in any jewish strong orthodox community. I do not believe that my father knew that as a first born child I was required to be redeemed by proper right of conduct with the kohain and sum of silver.

What is my position in Israel and what can I do or discuss with family on this matter? I fear perhaps some misfortune in my life is possible a poor outcome of a not redeemed soul of jewish birth.

Many thanks.

Answer:

Since you can assume that your father didn’t do the mitzvah of redeeming the first born for you, you have to obligation to do it yourself. I would advise you t speak to a local rabbi, to find you a kohen and help you with it.

Your position in Klal Yisroel is not changed at all because you didn’t yet have the redemption done. You should not fear that you have misfortune because of it, all it means is that you should do it yourself. In fact a firstborn is considered prominent, and special in klal Yisroel, therefore you get a double portion of your fathers inheritance.

It is important to note that if you were delivered by caesarean section, then you do not have to do the redemption. Also if your mother had any previous children from a different marriage, and in some cases if she had a miscarriage prior to your being born then you don’t have to do the redemption.

Sources:

 

Y:D 305-17, 23, 24.

Tags: Pidyon Haben

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3 Responses to “Redemption of the newborn”

  1. Yes. Thank you. In fact, my mother miscarried her first pregnancy. It was a male. Does this exclude me from the need to redeem? Thanks.

    • This is already complicated. How did she know that it was a male? If it was from an ultrasound done before the miscarriage, and the ultrasound was able to see the fetuses organs, then it is clear that there is no need to redeem. However if it was only from tests or pathology done afterwards, then it is still questionable. (Otzar Pidyon Haben 1 ftnt. 19).
      If you still want to discuss it let me know.

  2. Since some exceptions are mentioned, it’s worth including that if the mother’s father is a Kohen or Levi then there’s no obligation for redemption. I think that point’s often overlooked.

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