Pidyon HaBen

New Grandchild, Ancient Ritual

02/28/2012
Editor And Publisher

Last week our family participated in a ritual commanded in the Torah and associated with the birth of a baby boy, a mitzvah that has become increasingly rare in Jewish life: the Pidyon HaBen, or redemption of the firstborn son, which applies in only an estimated 5 to 10 percent of Jewish births.

What follows are a few thoughts about the little-explored custom and the little boy who has been the focus of my thoughts in recent days.

Gary Rosenblatt
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