For the Sake of Israel: Rare Mitzvah Ceremony Unfolds in Moscow

30 Firstborns Fulfill Pidyon Haben Simultaneously * In an extraordinary and seldom-witnessed event, thirty firstborn men recently partook in the rare mitzvah of pidyon haben in Moscow * The ceremony, which typically involves the redemption of a firstborn son when they reach thirty days old, was a particularly unique occasion given the number of participants and their simultaneous fulfillment of this tradition.

Photos: Levi Nazarov

Typically, the pidyon haben ritual is performed by the infant’s father within the first month of the child’s life. However, in cases where this isn’t done, and the child has already surpassed the age of bar mitzvah, the obligation falls on the firstborn himself.

This gathering was an exceptional instance as the mitzvah is usually reserved for the first male child in a family, making it an infrequent occurrence. The event took place in support and solidarity with the community’s efforts to aid and stand by their fellow brethren in Israel during challenging times.

The ceremony, held in Moscow, brought together firstborns who were students of different Jewish educational institutions in Russia. Rabbi Berel Lazar, the Chief Rabbi of Russia, actively participated in the celebration, delivering an address and offering warm wishes to the firstborns and all attendees.

Under the guidance of Rabbi Mordechai Weisberg, Director of the Jewish community in Moscow, the firstborns approached one by one, presenting five silver coins to the Cohen and declaring, “I wish to redeem myself.” The event culminated with blessings from all the Cohanim present, emphasizing the significance of the occasion for the newly-redeemed firstborns and the collective community.

The heartwarming event was supported by philanthropist Mr. Efraim Benyominov and was dedicated to the safety and well-being of Israel.

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