PIDYON HABEN (Redemption of the
“Sanctify unto Me all the first-born, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast, it is Mine. ” Exodus 13:2
Redemption of the first-born son (if he is the family’s first child) takes place 30 days after birth. In ancient Israel, the first-born were dedicated to serve God in the Temple. To redeem them, five shekels were paid to the kohen (priest) to serve in the boys’ stead.
Today, the rabbi is given five silver dollars, which are donated to charity, and a festive meal follows.