Minhagei Pidyon HaBen

Some customs for the pidyon ceremony;

  1. In order to publicize the doing of the mitzvah It is proper to have a minyan present for the פדייה ceremony. But, having a minyan is not a halachic requirement and one needn’t postpone the mitzvah of פדייה (redemption) if a minyan isn’t present.
  2. The parents of the bchor -and the baby bchor- wear shabbos clothing for the ceremony.
  3. To make a festive meal for the ceremony, this is considered a סעודת מצוה.
  4. Some say that the kohen sits at the head of the table when accepting the five silver coins, as the torah, when referring to matnos kehuna, uses the term “למשחה” -greatness, royalty.
  5. The mother brings the bchor to the room where the pidyon is to take place and a close relative (grandmother etc.) passes the child to the father who brings the child to the kohen and gives him to the kohen to hold.

The father then informs the kohen;

“אשתי ישראלית ילדה לי בן זה בכור”

(“My yisroelis wife bore me a son, this bchor”)

The kohen asks;

במאי בעית טפי, בבנך בכורך או בחמשה סלעים דמחייבתא ליתן לי בפדיון בכורך זה?

(“What do you prefer, your son your bchor or five sela’s that your required to give me to redeem this bchor of yours”)?



The father answers;

בעינא בבני בכורי זה, והילך חמשה סלעים בפדיון דמחייבנא ביה

(“I prefer my son, this bchor. And here, for you, is five sela’s for the pidyon that I’m required to give”).



While holding the five silver coins, the father makes the blessing;

ברוך אתה ה’, אלהינו מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו על פדיון הבן

The father then hands all five coins to the kohen and makes a “שהחיינו” blessing;

ברוך אתה ה’, אלהינו מלך העולם, שהחיינו וקימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה



After receiving the coins, the kohen makes a בורא פרי הגפן (as to the custom of the kohen blessing the bchor with ברכת כהנים, see our article), at the conclusion of the festive meal, the officiating kohen leads the ברכת המזון blessing.

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