web analytics
December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Pidyon Haben During The Three Weeks

Grunfeld-Raphael-NEW

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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Dr. Ben Carson at the Western Wall.
Black GOP Leader Prays at the Western Wall for ‘Solomonic Wisdom’
Latest Judaism Stories
Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

To many of our brethren Chanukah has lost its meaning.

Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

This ability to remain calm under pressure and continue to see the situation clearly is a hallmark of Yehuda’s leadership.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

It would have been understandable for these great warriors to become dispirited.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

The travail of Yosef was undoubtedly the greatest trauma of Yaakov’s life, which certainly knew its share of hardships.

Yosef, in interpreting the first set of dreams, performed in a manner that was clearly miraculous to all.

Chazal teach us that we need to be “sur may’rah v’asei tov,”avoid bad and do good.

When we celebrate the completion of learning a section of Torah, we recite the Hadran.

Fetal Immersion?
‘The Fetus Is A Limb Of Its Mother’
(Yevamos 78a)

Yosef proves he is a true leader; He is continually and fully engaged in the task of running Egypt

When the inability cannot be clearly attributed to either spouse, the halacha is the subject of debate among the Rishonim.

Those who reject our beliefs know in their souls Jewish power stems from our faith and our prayers.

He stepped outside, and, to his dismay, the menorah was missing. It had been stolen.

Though we Jews have deep obligations to all people our obligation to our fellow Jew is unique.

In a way that decision was the first in a series of miracles with which Hashem blessed us.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Exploring the connection between Pharaoh’s dreams and the story of Joseph being sold into slavery.

More Articles from Raphael Grunfeld
Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

When the inability cannot be clearly attributed to either spouse, the halacha is the subject of debate among the Rishonim.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

The child of a Jewish mother from a union with a non-Jewish father is not a mamzer.

Although the conversion ceremony involves more than circumcision and immersion, these are the two essential requirements, without which the conversion is ineffective.

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

What if, at the moment of the late brother’s death, the surviving brother cannot effect yibum because the widow is a niddah?

The Torah lists twenty-one close relatives a man may not marry.

In the same way as a married woman is precluded from marrying another man without a get, so too is this widow prohibited from marrying another man without chalitzah.

Should we sit in the sukkah on a day that may be the eighth day when we are not commanded to sit in the sukkah at all?

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: