web analytics
August 30, 2015 / 15 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Pidyon Haben During The Three Weeks

Pidyon haben,like brit milah, circumcision, is primarily the responsibility of the father. A brit milah must be performed on the eighth day of the child’s birth, unless it would endanger the life of the child to do so. Pidyon haben must be performed on the thirty-first day of the child’s birth. Neither ceremony may be delayed beyond its prescribed time unless there is some halachic justification to do so.

In the case of milah, such a delay is a very serious matter since the punishment for unjustifiably delaying circumcision, by even one day, is karet, premature death at the hand of God. So important is the duty to circumcise on the eighth day, the milah is performed even if the eighth day happens to be on Shabbat – even though the surgery involves a melachah de’oraita, biblically prohibited work on Shabbat. Accordingly, in the event of a conflict between the duty to circumcise on the eighth day and the prohibition against violating the Shabbat by inflicting a wound, the duty to circumcise takes precedence.

It is also most important that a devoutly observant Jew perform the circumcision. So important is this requirement that it takes precedence over the requirement to circumcise on the eighth day. Accordingly, if the only person available to perform the milah on the eighth day is a person who is not an observant Jew, the milah should be postponed until a devout mohel is available.

Unlike a brit milah on the eighth day, which overrides the prohibition of performing a melachah on Shabbat, a pidyon haben, which involves the handling of money and the performance of a transaction – both prohibited activities on Shabbat – does not override the observance of Shabbat. Accordingly, if the thirty-first day of the birth is on Shabbat, the pidyon haben is postponed to Sunday. Apart from this situation, there is generally no license to postpone the pidyon haben ceremony beyond its prescribed time. Such a postponement, although not as egregious as the postponement of a brit milah, would violate the general prohibition of shihui mitzvah, postponing the performance of a mitzvah.

Both the brit milah and the pidyon haben ceremonies are celebrated by a seudat mitzvah, a festive meal to which family and friends are invited. If the thirty-first day is in the middle of the week, it would of course be more convenient to postpone the pidyon haben ceremony and festivities to Sunday when more guests can attend. Such a postponement is, however, unacceptable for the reasons articulated above.

In a situation where the eighth day is in the middle of the week but the parents insist that a brit milah be held on a Sunday and threaten to have a non-observant doctor perform the circumcision if the observant mohel does not agree to the postponement, then, according Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, it is better for the observant mohel to perform the circumcision on Sunday, even though this results in a prohibited delay, rather than risk the circumcision will be performed by a non-observant doctor. The reason for this is that a circumcision performed by a non-observant person is ineffective.

Similarly, if the parents insist that the pidyon haben be postponed to a Sunday when more people can attend the seudah, then, notwithstanding the violation of the general prohibition of shihui mitzvah, the kohen may perform the ceremony, even though it is beyond the thirty-first day. Of course, in both situations, but especially in the milah situation, the parents should be prevailed upon to conduct the ceremony and the celebration at the prescribed time without any postponement.

Both the seudah in honor of the brit milah and the seudah in honor of the pidyon haben have the halachic status of festive meals, seudat mitzvah. This status has practical consequences, particularly in the period of the nine days between Rosh Chodesh Av, the first day of the month of Av, and Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av. Accordingly, even though one should refrain from reciting the blessing of Shehecheyanuduring the nine days, this blessing may be recited for a pidyon haben performed during this time. Similarly, although one is not permitted to eat meat or drink wine during the nine days, close family and friends of the child’s family may do so at a brit or pidyon haben seudah during this time, even onErev Tisha B’Av, the day preceding Tisha B’Av, provided it is done before noon.

About the Author: Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Pidyon Haben During The Three Weeks”

  1. NEW YORK Stands with Israel Rally monday 28th July 2014 at 12.30pm https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BtUH80JCcAA7rc0.png

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Rabbi Norman Lamm of Yeshiva University
Emes Ve-Emunah: Living Up to the Ideals of Modern Orthodoxy
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

The common translation of the opening words of this week’s parsha, Ki Seitzei, is: “When you go out to war against your enemy.” Actually the text reads “al oyvecha” upon your enemy. The Torah is saying that when Israel goes out to war, they will be over and above their enemy. The reason why Bnei […]

Rabbi Avi Weiss

The love between Gd & Israel is deeper than marriage; beyond the infinite love of parent for child

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Since giving the machatzis hashekel will not change his financial situation, he is obligated to do so even though it is more than a fifth of his income.

Today, few people fast during the Days of Selichot, but the custom is to rise early to recite Selichot.

Each month is associated with a particular tribe. The month of Elul is matched up with Gad. What makes Gad unique?

Sanctions and indictment of the Jew, holding him to a higher standard, is as common and misplaced as ever.

To allow for free will, there are times when Hashem will allow a person the “opportunity to be the messenger.”

“There is a mitzvah to pay the worker on that day,” answered Mr. Lerner.

Be happy. Be grateful. God knows what he is doing. It is all happening for a reason.

We get so busy living our lives, handling our day-to-day little crises that we forget to go that one step deeper and appreciate our lives.

The promise for long life only comes from 2 commandments; What’s the connection between them?

Mighty Amalek deliberately attacked enemy’s weakest members, despicable even by ancient standards

If we parents fail to honor responsibilities then society’s children will pay the price for our sins

Consider how our Heavenly Father feels when He sees His children adopting all other parents but Him

More Articles from Raphael Grunfeld
Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

Today, few people fast during the Days of Selichot, but the custom is to rise early to recite Selichot.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

When Moses ascended the mountain that first, fateful day of Elul, the shofar was sounded daily in the Camp of Israel, heralding his expected return.

Because the words of Torah gladden the heart, studying Torah is forbidden when Tisha B’Av is on a weekday, except for passages in Scripture that deal with the destruction of the Temple and other calamities.

On Shabbat during the nine days, one may don freshly laundered clothes, eat meat and drink wine, including Havdalah wine.

The combination of the severity of the punishment and the ease with which the prohibition may be forgotten require that the smallest amount of chametz – chametz bemashehu – be prohibited.

If the sick person is thrust into a situation where he is compelled to face his sickness head on, we who are not yet sick can encourage him by facing it with him.

Less clear, however, is whether the concept applies to the area of civil law such as the law of transfer of property.

Conversely, no part of the Land within the boundaries delineated in Numbers 34 may be relinquished for any purpose whatsoever.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/pidyon-haben-during-the-three-weeks/2014/07/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: