Friday, September 11, 2009

Dovid's Pillow

WiseGuy asked a question about what is written on the pillow that Dovid was lying on for his bris. It's the first few words of a pasuk in Bamidbar (Numbers 18:16). It says, ופדיו מבן חודש תפדה. "Oo-phe-doo-yav mee-ben cho-desh teeph-deh" This means "And those that are to be redeemed, from one month shall you redeem". This phrase actually has nothing to do with the bris. lol It has more to do with something called pidyon ha-ben, which means "redemption of the [first-born] son." A pidyon ha-ben is done on the 30th day after birth and there are several qualifications that need to occur in order to require this redemption.

1) The baby needs to be a first-born. If you had a girl first, no dice. If you had a miscarriage after 40 days of pregnancy, you're disqualified too.

2) The baby needs to be a boy. Once again, if you had a girl first, you don't need to do this.

3) The baby needs to be born the "natural way". If you had a C-Section, forget it. ;-)

4) The baby's father cannot be a Kohen or a Levi and the baby's mother cannot be a Bas-Kohen or Bas-Levi . (Bas-Kohen/Levi means that her dad was either a Kohen or a Levi.)

We were disqualified on all 4 counts. lol Chana was born first, so there goes the first two. They were born by C-Section, and Shmuel is a Kohen.

The actually ceremony is pretty simple. The father of the baby gives the Kohen present three coins to redeem his son from serving in the Beis HaMikdosh (May it be rebuilt soon!) That's basically it. lol They obviously use the same pillow for both bris ceremonies and pidyon ha-ben ceremonies in my shul.

Random note: As you'll see from the definitions of all these words on my side bar (and the link below), all Kohanim are Leviim, but not all Leviim are Kohanim

Click HERE for more Hebrew & Yiddish word definitions

I've seen a lot of people posting about 9/11 today, but I don't have a very interesting story and I'd rather not bring up sad memories right before Shabbos. Maybe I'll talk about it next year...
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