Pidyon Haben?

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  • #591036

    I know someone who became a Zeidy recently and was told the Pidyon Ha Ben would not be scheduled. This is because his family are Leviam. Why is this so, and what is the source?

    #1163843
    haifagirl
    Participant

    Originally the firstborns were supposed to be the kohanim. After the golden calf they lost that honor and it was given to Aharon and his descendants since they were from the tribe of Levi and the Leviim did not participate in the golden calf.

    Because the firstborns are no longer the kohanim, they must be redeemed. Leviim and Kohanim do not need to be redeemed as they are still eligible to serve in the beis hamikdosh.

    #1163844

    haifagirl- Thanks for your explanation.

    #1163845
    oomis
    Participant

    It is very rare these days to see an actual pidyon habein.Not only is the father’s lineage (Kohein or Levi) importasnt, but if the MOTHER is a BAS Kohein or Bas Levi, the parents are also exempt. My understanding also is that the male baby has to be the first child to emerge from the womb (through a normal birth process), so if there was a previous pregnancy (male or female) that was delivered via c-section, I believe (learned gentleman please correct me if I am mistaken) that if the second child is male and is delivered normally, he requires a pidyon. If there was a miscarriage in the first pregnancy, there is no requirement for a pidyon on the next baby born if it is male, since a pregnancy has already exited the womb previously, even though it was not viable.

    #1163846
    aidle maidle
    Participant

    oomis1105- I heard the same thing, that “If there was a miscarriage in the first pregnancy, there is no requirement for a pidyon on the next baby born if it is male”. Yet I know of several cases where there was a pidyon even though there was a miscarriage previously. I wonder why the pidyon was allowed, do know any source for this?

    #1163847
    haifagirl
    Participant

    I believe it has to do with how far along the pregnancy is. If it’s less than 40 days it doesn’t “count.”

    #1163848
    oomis
    Participant

    Haifagirl, is that the case (and I honestly do NOT know), or is it possible that the parties involved never thought to ask a shailah about it at all, and just assumed they had to make a pidyon? Yeshivah guys – please check this out for us and let us know.

    #1163849
    anonymrs
    Participant

    i am not agreeing or disagreeing, but i would like to know- what is the source for not being required to make a pidyon after a miscarriage?

    also, as far as i know, a pidyon is required ONLY of a bechor. no matter how the first baby was delivered, the second child, even if he is the first boy, would not require a pidyon.

    my sister made a pidyon haben for her son many years ago, and i still remember it, because it was such an incredible occasion, because it happens so infrequently.

    #1163850
    haifagirl
    Participant

    anonymrs:

    As far as I know, oomis is correct:

    If there was a miscarriage in the first pregnancy, there is no requirement for a pidyon on the next baby born if it is male, since a pregnancy has already exited the womb previously, even though it was not viable.

    I never heard about a pidyon being required for a second child if the first was by C-section.

    Also, I believe, but may be wrong, a pidyon is not required if the bechor was delivered by C-section.

    #1163851
    Joseph
    Participant

    I never heard about a pidyon being required for a second child if the first was by C-section.

    Correct. Although it is a machlokes in the Gemora if the firstborn son was delivered via Caesarean section if the second child (assuming its a son and is born naturally) requires a pidyon. We pasken not.

    Also, I believe, but may be wrong, a pidyon is not required if the bechor was delivered by C-section.

    Correct. A pidyon is not made if the bechor is born via C/Section.

    #1163852
    A600KiloBear
    Participant

    BS”D

    Almost every birth of a bechor in my community, both my old subcommunity (my very close knit shtibl-like shul) in Crown Heights and my present community in the FSU which is KAH BH experiencing an amazing baby boom, has resulted in a pidyon haben. I had one as well; I am a “run of the mill” bechor born under regular circumstances.

    #1163853
    oomis
    Participant

    “Bechor peter rechem” means the first child (and only if that child is male)exiting through natural, non-surgical means through the womb. If there was a miscarriage, then THAT child was the bechor (According to everything I always learned), though in most cases people do not know if the blighted pregnancy was a male or female. A pidyon is not required for a c-section first-born male. In the case of a V-BAC male infant, I believe it is required.

    #1163854
    oomis
    Participant

    “I never heard about a pidyon being required for a second child if the first was by C-section.

    Correct. Although it is a machlokes in the Gemora if the firstborn son was delivered via Caesarean section if the second child (assuming its a son and is born naturally) requires a pidyon. We pasken not.”

    Thank you, Joseph. I guess I learned it incorrectly. It only serves to underscore how RARE a pidyon haben is.

    #1163855
    littleeema
    Participant

    NO pidyon is done if a male is born VBAC. I, too, learned the opposite in school, and was deeply embarrased when I had a boy VBAC and told my rov that we were planning a pidyon. Thus began my problem with seminary girls teaching halacha….

    as far as the miscarriage – the mishna explains that if the fetus was “formed” it releases the parents from pidyon obligation. In recent years, it has become more and more possible for a woman to know that she is pregnant before 40 days (the mishna deadline, which btw is the day when gender is established hormonally), and thus that she’s having a miss. Previously, they probably thought she just had a late cycle. In any case, a miss before 40 days doesn’t count and a son born naturally after that is the recepient of a pidyon.

    #1163856
    oomis
    Participant

    This is a very interesting topic. Thank you, littleeema, for your contribution to this lesson. BTW, you had nothing to be embarrassed about – apparently many of us were taught the same thing.

    #1163857
    Feif Un
    Participant

    Yes, with a m/c, if it’s early enough, it doesn’t count. You need to consult with a Rav on it, as the exact count can be questionable.

    In my family, my older brother didn’t get a pidyon because my mother’s family are Levi’im.

    Among my siblings, there are now 4 of us married. My older brother had a girl first. My son was born via a C-section. My younger brother’s in-laws are Levi’im. The next brother is currently expecting his first child, so we might finally have a pidyon!

    #1163858
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Interestingly enough, I had a pidyon haben, and then later found out that I didn’t need one.

    My parents (who weren’t frum at the time) had one for me at the proper time, as I was the firstborn. Only years later, after we became frum did my mother find out that if the maternal grandfather is a levi (as mine was) that one was not needed.

    The Wolf

    #1163859
    aimhabonim
    Participant

    To Oomis1105(and everyone else)-I don’t think that a pidyon haben is so rare. in my family,my oldest daughter gave birth to a girl.My next five children all were zoche to make a pidyon haben!I’ll admit,that was not typical…

    #1163860
    oomis
    Participant

    Aimhaonim – clearly your family has had a most unusual and lovely zechus. But it IS a rarity, make no mistake. Don’t forget, many first pregnancies, in addition to all the other factors, are FEMALE. I am married almost 33 years and have only had three pidyonim to attend in all that time.

    #1163861
    mamashtakah
    Member

    I once got to go to a pidyon that a man made for himself. He discovered that his parents never had one for him, so he made arrangements for a kohain to come (with a minyan of course) to have the pidyon.

    #1163862
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Oomis,

    I wouldn’t call it a rarity. Even given the following factors:

    — 1 of every 2 first born births are female

    — some firstborn males are disqualified due to previous miscarriages, being born Cesarean, etc.

    — some firstborn males are disqualified due to having a Kohanic or Levitic grandfather

    I’d still say that calling it a rarity is not quite true. I’d estimate (just off the top of my head — I have no statistical data to back this up) that about 30% of couples get to perform a pidyon*. Certainly not the majority, but certainly not a rarity either.

    The Wolf

    (I made the following assumptions — I think they’re reasonable, but feel free to tweak the numbers:

    — 50% of firstborn births are girls

    — 25% of firstborn births are disqualified due to miscarriage/Cesarean/other similar reaons

    — 15% of firstborn births are disqualified due to yichus.)

    #1163863
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    <i>I once got to go to a pidyon that a man made for himself.</i>

    We did something similar. When we performed a pidyon for our son, a friend of a friend of a friend who came from Russia who was a firstborn and *possibly* needed a pidyon asked if he could “borrow” our kohen and ceremony for himself as well. He did the pidyon for himself (without the bracha) right after we did our son’s pidyon.

    The Wolf

    #1163864
    oomis
    Participant

    Wolf, you don’t think that 10% is a rarity? All I know is I live in a community where lots and lots of first babies are being born, and almost never heard of a pidyon being done.

    #1163865
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Wolf, you don’t think that 10% is a rarity? All I know is I live in a community where lots and lots of first babies are being born, and almost never heard of a pidyon being done.

    Then there may be something in the water in your community. 🙂

    Seriously, however, I don’t know what to tell you… but your anecdotal experience is probably not indicative of the statistical community as a whole.

    Actually, my estimate was closer to 30%… but even so, if only one out of ten families do a pidyon, I wouldn’t say it’s rare.

    I wonder if you might not (subconsciously) be comparing the pidyon rate to the number of all births rather than the number of first births. We have a lot of births in our community as well, but the vast majority of them aren’t first births. When I try to compare pidyons to *all* births (or even all boys), then the number starts getting rarer.

    For my own personal anecdotal evidence; my four grandparents had twelve grandkids between them. Of them:

    #1 had a firstborn boy and a pidyon

    #2 had a firstborn girl

    #3 had a firstborn boy and a pidyon

    #4 had a firstborn girl

    #5 (me) had a firstborn boy and a pidyon

    #6 had a firstborn boy and a pidyon

    #7 had a firstborn boy and if he hadn’t intermarried — all other things being equal, they would have had a pidyon.

    #8 had a firstborn girl

    #9 had a firstborn boy and a pidyon

    #10 – #14 aren’t yet married.

    While (again) my own personal anecdotal evidence isn’t the same as statistical evidence, I can tell you from my own personal experience that it’s not a “rarity.”

    The Wolf

    #1163866
    oomis
    Participant

    Personally, I loved going to the pidyonim that I was privileged to attend. People came from all over the Tri-State area and even E”Y, and virtually everyone I spoke to told me it was their first time, ever. (And yes, there is definitely something in our water!) 🙂 Anecdotal or not, it is still interesting to me.

    #1163867
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    2 years ago we made a pidyon haben for our first son. Many of the people commented that they had either never been to one or only been to 1-2.

    IME (anecdotal, I know), most people have first born girls or boys via c-section or don’t qualify.

    I’ve only been to my sons and NONE of my friends had one.

    Out of sheer ignorance, do you have a pidyon haben if a baby was concieved through IVF or other modified means?

    #1163868
    oomis
    Participant

    “Out of sheer ignorance, do you have a pidyon haben if a baby was concieved through IVF or other modified means?”

    What a great question! I cannot see why not – – if the birth is a normal one. The torah does not talk about the way the baby was conceived, only how it exited the womb.

    Rabbis?

    SJS, I want to wish you a belated mazel tov – for some reason (probably a senior moment), I had not realized you had given birth already. What did you have?

    #1163869
    NY Mom
    Member

    SJS: That is an interesting question, but I think it is mostly dependent on delivery and not conception – as long as the father is the genetic father of the baby.

    #1163870
    haifagirl
    Participant

    as long as the father is the genetic father of the baby.

    Okay. I confess my ignorance. Why would that matter? After all, it doesn’t matter if the father is a [non-Jew].

    EDITED

    #1163871
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    as long as the father is the genetic father of the baby.

    That’s interesting. Why would that be? I don’t see why the identity of the genetic father would make a difference (provided he wasn’t a Kohen, Levi or non-Jewish [and I’m not even certain about that last one]).

    After all, even if she wasn’t married at all and had a firstborn boy, he would still need a pidyon. So, I fail to see why whether or not the child is the genetically related to the father makes a difference*.

    The Wolf

    * and just to head off the argument regarding possible mamzeirus — R. Moshe paskened that a child born to a married woman and a sperm donor is not a mamzer. And even if you don’t agree with R. Moshe and hold the child is a mamzer, he would *still* need a pidyon if he is the firstborn to his mother — just like he would still need a bris.

    #1163872
    NY Mom
    Member

    as long as the father is the genetic father of the baby.

    That’s interesting. Why would that be? I don’t see why the identity of the genetic father would make a difference <>(provided he wasn’t a Kohen, Levi or non-Jewish [and I’m not even certain about that last one]).

    That was my meaning. If is makes a difference whether or not the father is a Cohen or Levi, then wouldn’t it be a determining factor when deciding if there should be a pidyon haben or not? (The non-Jewish genetic father I have no clue about.)

    #1163873
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Maybe. It assumes that you know whom the sperm donor is. And even then, it’s not so clear.

    We have a general rule that children born in wedlock are assumed to be sired by the woman’s husband. While it’s true that genetically the child may not be the husband’s, it may be so for halachic reasons. Clearly this is an issue to be asked to a rav.

    In the event that the sperm donor is not known, you can probably go via the principle of rov — since the majority of men are not Kohanim or Levi’im, you could probably safely assume that the child would need a pidyon.

    If the sperm donor is known, then even if he is a kohen or a levi, then you would probably still need to ask, based on the above.

    If the sperm donor is the husband, well, then, I guess there’s not much of a question.

    The Wolf

    #1163874
    NY Mom
    Member

    Wolf: When I said, “as long as the father is the genetic father of the baby”, I just meant to bring up the issue that the identity of the sperm donor might change the situation. As you just listed above, there are many possibilities, and the type of delivery is not the only determining factor. That is why SJS’s question was an interesting one.

    #1163875
    oomis
    Participant

    Is it only if the child is the MOTHER’s firstborn son? What if a woman marries (a second marriage)someone who never had children, and they have a son. The child is HIS firstborn male. Does he require a pidyon (I know it is bechor peter rechem that requires it, but does that expression mean for just the FIRST husband)?

    I could see the sperm donor (if non-Jewish) being a potential shailah, but the MOTHER is Jewish, so her child is, too, and all Jewish children are chayav in the same halachos.

    #1163876
    LAer
    Member

    Oomis, yes, it’s only if it’s the mother’s firstborn. Firstborn children with subsequent husbands don’t “count.” However, if a man has more than one firstborn son with different wives and all other requirements are met, he needs to make a pidyon for each qualifying child.

    #1163877
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Is it only if the child is the MOTHER’s firstborn son?

    Yes. How many children the father has is irrelevant.

    I know a previously never married man who married a divorcee with two daughters. His wife gave birth to a son about two years ago — and there was no pidyon, simply because it was not her first child. The fact that he never previously had children does not matter.

    OTOH, a bechor for the purpose of inheriting a double-share depends on the father, not the mother*.

    The Wolf

    * Although if the bechor came into the world via Cesarean, then he does not qualify for the double share.

    #1163878
    HIE
    Participant

    i just became an uncle a day ago, my brother had a baby boy, there WILL iy”h be a pidyon haben

    #1163879
    oomis
    Participant

    Mazel Tov, HIE!!! How wonderful! Much nachas.

    #1163880
    The Best Bubby
    Participant

    The din states that the first born son to his MOTHER (not c sec) has to have a pidyon haben if the Father of the the boy is not a Cohen or Levi, or the baby boy’s mother is not a Bat Cohen or Bat Levi.

    I am a bat cohen and I had a first child a son and did not have a pidyon haben.

    My eldest son had a son first, but her father claimed he was a Levi and baby did not have a pidyon haben. Three years later, my daughter in law’s uncle came to visit from Eretz (her father’s brother) and in shul they wanted to give him an aliya for a Levi. He said he was not a Levi. I then checked with the cemetary in Israel, what was written on his Father’s metzaiva, if he was a Levi. He was not, and therefore the little 3 year old had to have a pidyon haben then. My second son had a girl first.

    Once, many years ago in our shtiebel, a wonderful man arranged for boys (who were not frum, but learning in a Jewish school), to come for Pesach from Hungary, to different families. Many did not have a pidyon haben and we had a beautiful ceremony (after Pesach), with all the booys who needed one, with a different Cohen performing one pidyon haben as per halacha. It was a beautiful scene. The Av Beth Din of London was also a Cohen and he, too came to perform the mitzvah. We had 14 Pidyon Habens with 14 Cohanim, followed by a seudah mitzvah! Absolutely beautiful!

    My brother in law and sister in law had a first born son and they had a pidyon. When my nephew married, he had a Pidyon for his first born. Another nephew also had a pidyon for his first born. The other nieces had girls first, except one, who had a pidyon. Now everyone in the family is waiting for my last son to I’YH marry, to see if he will have a pidyon I’YH. (My husband is a Yisrael).

    We should all have many simachot with simcha!

    #1163881
    oomis
    Participant

    Lovely story, Best Bubby.

    #1163882
    The Best Bubby
    Participant

    oomis, I always love your truthful and heartfelt advice given in all the different threads. We must be similar in age and have the same ideas. Two great heads think alike! I get the jist that you still have 2 daughters to marry off. I always try to help others. Be in touch with me through my personal email. Please get it through the moderator. Be matzliach!

    #1163883
    HIE
    Participant

    oomis1105, thanks iy”h by you if not yet

    #1163884
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Does canadian money work?

    #1163885
    ivory
    Member

    I think it has to be silver coins worth a certain amount in currency in the country you are in. But of course check with your LOR. And btw this thread is about 4 years old

    #1163886
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    It works in Canada.

    #1163888
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Well Watson Ivory, I’m asking if Canadian silver coins works. I’m obviously not asking whether canadian toilet paper works.

    #1163889
    bp yidd
    Participant

    Lol

    #1163890
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    It does, but you’d need a couple hundred rolls.

    #1163891
    ivory
    Member

    Exactly. That’s why I said the country you are in. I don’t see why I had to get bashed for that

    #1163892
    Participant

    Does canadian money work?

    The Maple Leafs work. Not only are stamped 9999 (Most countries only use 999), they’re also stamped in French.

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