Tuesday, May 31, 2011

pidyon haben and ma'ariv -- which mitzvah comes first?

R' Shlomo Hyman (Ch R' Shlomo, Kiddushin siman 3) writes that he once attended a pidyon haben where a fellow Rabbi suggested that since it was close to ma'ariv time they should first daven ma'ariv and only then do the pidyon -- tadir v'she'aino tadir - tadir kodem. R' Shlomo Hyman disagreed. If someone comes to collect a debt at ma'ariv time, you can't put off paying just because the mitzvah of ma'ariv is more tadir than the mitzvah of paying a debt. (He takes this as a given, but doesn't explain why it is true. I think what he means is that you only apply precedence rules like tadir when it comes to issur v'heter, not to dinei mamonos. For example, no one would say that you should pay Reuvain before Shimon because Reuvain borrows money more often is therefore a tadir debtor!) Pidyon haben is not just a mitzvah, but it is a debt that must be paid to the kohen. When this sevara was told to R' Chaim Brisker he approved of the psak.


  1. Anonymous11:00 AM

    how is pidyon haben to be understood as a "debt"?

    why don't we count (indirectly? unofficially?) the Levites of EVERY generation, and redeem in
    that generation only the number of firstborn Israelites exceeding the count (should the latter be found more numerous)? {one might argue that Hashem "owes" some of us a refund: He receives both the
    Leviim of a given dor, and the
    redemption fees for ALL firstborn!}

  2. the one time exchange transferred the kedusha

  3. Paragon of Virtue9:56 AM

    Makes perfect sense...the gemara in kiddushin discusses a case (i think) of if a father has only 5 slaim should he use it to be podeh himself or his son. Achronim ask, hamevazbez al yevzbez yoser mechomesh, so why should he have to spend all his available money. I believe Chazon Ish answers that that rule applies to Mitzvos, but Pidyon haben is a debt in Dinei Mamonos, so the rule doesn't apply there.

  4. Anonymous3:39 PM

    >>>one time exchange

    then there's nothing kodesh left
    for subsequent generations to
    isn't "peter kol rechem...li hu"
    (shmos 13:2) contingent on
    "kadesh li chol bechor"(same)?
    if a creature is kodesh, it's His;
    if not, not / & if it's His, it's
    kodesh; if not, not, equally...

    >>>makes perfect sense [a Paragon of Sense?]

    if Radically Acquisitive unilaterally claims ownership of X, otherwise belonging to Lately Deprived, can the latter be said to "owe" the former to get it back? by a din mamon?

    (sorry if the questions are dense, but there's currently a black-out at this end)

  5. I don't think r Chaim was alive when r Shlomo was in America

    1. As r Shlomo came to America in 1935 and r Chaim died in 1918.
      Could be it wasn't in amerAme