Thanks and Acknowledgements We are ever grateful to the Holy One for giving us life, sustaining us, and bringing us to this joyous occasion. We thank all of the members of our mutual families, those alive today and those no longer with us, those able to travel to Los Angeles and those here in spirit, for their kindness, support and love.
Welcome Welcome to the Pidyon Ha-Ben of our son, Judah Alan, יהודה אביחי. We are honored that you are able to join us on this blessed occasion. After the final plague that smote the Egyptians, the Death of the Firstborns, God commanded the Jewish people to sanctify and redeem their firstborns in commemoration of His great and mighty act. This Mitzvah (Divine Command) pertains to the child of two Israelite (not Levite) parents who is the firstborn of his mother literally, who opened her womb. The child is to be redeemed 30 days after his birth, i.e. on the 31st day. The redemption occurs via the offering of 5 sela coins or their equivalent worth (approximately 100 grams silver) to a Kohen (a direct descendant of Aaron the Priest) in exchange, as it were, for the innate sanctity that accompanies the firstborn from his mother’s womb. The Mitzvah of Pidyon Ha-Ben is rare and often misunderstood. We hope that today’s event will provide an opportunity to shed light on its meaning and significance. We encourage you to ask us and the many knowledgeable rabbis and community members present about Pidyon Ha-Ben and the ideas that undergird it.
We especially want to remember Nava’s mother, Mindy ע’’ה, and Nava’s brother, Avi ע’’ה- for whom יהודה אביחיis named both of whom would have immeasurably added to and enjoyed our celebration today. As we enter this new stage in our lives, we miss them more and more.
פדיון הבן של יהודה אביחי בן נח שלום ונאוה חנה גרינפילד יום רביעי כ''ג בניסן בריה דמועדא דפסחא תשע''א
We want to honor the presence of our Bubbe, Leila Greenfield, and honor her husband, our Zaida, Alan - for whom Judah Alan is named. We also want to acknowledge Nava’s grandmother, Marsha Pincus שליט’’א, and her grandfather, Harry Berkowitz שליט’’א, both of Jerusalem, who we miss dearly but know are here in spirit. להבדיל בין החיים והחיים, we also want to honor the memory of Nava’s grandfather, Seymour Pincus ע’’ה, and grandmother, Helen Berkowitz ע’’ה, and Noah’s grandparents, Abraham and Edith Luchins ע’’ה. Lastly, we want to thank our parents, Bruce and Anne Greenfield and Gersh and Kirbie Pincus, for all of their help, humor, advice, support, and love. May we return the favor with many more grandchildren! Noah and Nava Greenfield
Pidyon HaBen / Redemption of the Firstborn of Judah Alan Greenfield Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The Pidyon Ha-ben of Judah Alan Greenfield Biblical Verses Exodus 13.1-15 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine... And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he swore unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee, that thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that opens the womb, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD's. And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem. And it shall be when thy son asks thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage: And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that opens the womb, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem. (Cf. Exodus 22.28; 34.19-20)
Numbers 8.13-20 And thou shalt set the Levites before Aaron, and before his sons, and offer them for an offering unto the LORD. Thus shalt thou separate the Levites from among the children of Israel: and the Levites shall be mine. And after that shall the Levites go in to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation: and thou shalt cleanse them, and offer them for an offering. For they are wholly given unto me from among the children of Israel; instead of such as open every womb, even instead of the firstborn of all the children of Israel, have I taken them unto me. For all the firstborn of the children of Israel are mine, both man and beast: on the day that I smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for myself. And I have taken the Levites for all the firstborn of the children of Israel. And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the children of Israel, to do the service of the children of Israel in the tabernacle of the congregation, and to make an atonement for the children of Israel: that there be no plague among the children of Israel, when the children of Israel come nigh unto the sanctuary. (Cf. Numbers 3.11-50; 18.8-17)
Standard Ashkenazi Rite (English) Father: This child is his mother’s firstborn. The Holy One commanded that he be redeemed, as it is written, “The redemption of the firstborn, when he is one month old, shall be five shekels...” Similarly: “Sanctify the firstborn, the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast, they are Mine. Kohen: Which do you prefer, your (unredeemed) firstborn son, or 5 selas, which you are to give to redeem him? Father: I want to redeem my son. Take the redemption, which I am required to give according to the Torah. Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who sanctified us with your commandments and commanded us concerning the redemption of the firstborn. Blessed... King of the universe, who kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season. Kohen: Blessed... who created the fruit of the vine. May it be Your will, just as he has been admitted to redemption, so may he enter into Torah, marriage, and virtuous living. (Priestly Blessing)