Pidyon Haben

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When a male child, who is not a Cohen or a Levi, is naturally born of his mother's first pregnancy to a father not descended of Cohanim or Levim he must be "redeemed" by his father with the value of five biblical shekels, to be payed to a Cohen.[1]

Background

  1. This Mitzvah is based on the pasuk בְּכוֹר בָּנֶיךָ תִּתֶּן לִּי "the firstborn of your sons you shall give Me" [2]and וְכֹל בְּכוֹר אָדָם בְּבָנֶיךָ תִּפְדֶּה "and every firstborn of man among your sons, you shall redeem" [3]. It is considered a Biblical positive commandment. [4]
  2. The idea behind the mitzvah is to redeem the firstborn of his innate kedusha as the pasuk says "קַדֶּשׁ־לִי כָל־בְּכוֹר פֶּטֶר כָּל־רֶחֶם בִּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּאָדָם וּבַבְּהֵמָה לִי הוּא".[5] The kedusha is a result of Hashem killing the Egyptian firstborns and saving the Jewish firstborns.[6] Nonetheless, even before the pidyon haben the baby isn't forbidden from benefit.[7] Another explanation is that we have a mitzvah with our first offspring to recognize that everything is from Hashem.[8]

When is a Pidyon Necessary?

Firstborn of the Mother

  1. The mitzvah of Pidyon Haben only applies to the male firstborn from the first pregnancy of a mother, even if it isn't the firstborn to the father, such as if he has children from a previous marriage. Similarly, if she has children already, even if this is his first, there would not be a pidyon haben.[9]
  2. If the mother previously gave birth or had a miscarriage there is no mitzvah on the next child.[10] Certain cases of miscarriage exempt the next child from pidyon haben and some don't depending on the stage at which the miscarriage occurred.[11] A person should consult an expert rabbi regarding such a case.

Yisrael

  1. Cohanim and Levim are exempt from Pidyon Haben. This if the father is a kohen or levi, or if the mother is the daughter of a Cohen or Levi, the child is also exempt from Pidyon HaBen.[12]

Delivery

  1. A firstborn who had Cesarean birth (C-section) is exempt from pidyon haben. The subsequent births would also be exempt from pidyon haben, even if they are vaginal births.[13]
  2. A birth which involved the doctor widening the vagina with an episiotomy cut to aid in delivery is obligated in pidyon haben.[14]
  3. Regarding a baby born with forceps delivery there is a dispute whether the baby is obligated in pidyon haben. Some hold that the baby isn't obligated because the instrument encircles the baby's head and interposes between the baby and the womb, but even according to this opinion it depends on the extent to which the baby's head was covered. Others hold that the baby is obligated in pidyon haben. [15] A rabbi should be consulted about practical cases.[16]
  4. A baby born naturally assisted with a vacuum is obligated in pidyon haben.[17]

In Vitro

  1. An in vitro fertilization baby is obligated in pidyon haben.[18] If he does not know his father, he must redeem himself when he becomes of age.[19]

Whose Obligation is it?

  1. The principle obligation of the mitzvah falls on the father.[20] If the father fails to fulfill his obligation, the obligation is transferred to the son to redeem himself when he becomes the age of Bar Mitzvah (13 years old). [21]
  2. The mother has no obligation to redeem her son. [22] If she did, after the fact it is effective, unless she took her husband's money against his will.[23]
  3. The obligation of pidyon never expires. Thus, if a boy wasn't redeemed as a baby, and is already 20 years old when he becomes religious, he still must redeem himself.[24]
  4. An orphaned firstborn, according to most authorities should redeem himself when he reaches the age of Bar Mitzvah. [25] However, some authorities hold that Bet Din should redeem him as a child by gifting to him the coins. [26]Lastly, some authorities hold that the Bet Din should redeem the child (on condition that it should be effective if the child doesn’t do it himself later on) when he’s still a child and then when the child grows up he should redeem himself and both should be done without a Bracha. [27]
  5. If the father is non-Jewish, some say that the son should perform the Pidyon Haben on himself when he becomes the age of Bar Mitzvah and some say that the Bet Din should perform the Pidyon HaBen on the baby's behalf. For this type of situation, one should certainly ask one's local Orthodox Rabbi. [28]

Procedure of the Pidyon HaBen

  1. It is not absolutely necessary to have a minyan at a pidyon haben, however, it is proper to have a minyan and to publicize this mitzvah.[29]
  2. Before the pidyon, the father should have kavana that he is fulfilling a positive commandment from the Torah of redeeming his eldest son.[30] see Having Kavana for Mitzvot
  3. The practice is to give the baby to the kohen to hold[31] and the kohen asks the father if he's a kohen or levi and the father answers no. Then the kohen asks if it is a firstborn and the father answers yes. Then the kohen asks whether he would rather your firstborn or five sela'im that you're obligated to use to redeem your firstborn and the father answers I want my firstborn son.[32] This should be done in a language that the parties involved understand.[33]The kohen also asks the mother if she's the daughter or a kohen or levi and she says no. Then the kohen asks if the baby is a firstborn and she responds yes. [34]
  4. The father recites the bracha of "asher kideshanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al pidyon haben" and shehecheyanu and then gives the coins to the kohen.[35] The father should not hand the money over before finishing the beracha[36]
  5. As he gives the coins, the father says this is for the redemption of my son and the kohen responds that I received these coins on behalf of the redemption. Then the kohen places the coins over the son's head and says that these are for your son.[37]
  6. The kohen proceeds to bless the baby with the pesukim of birkat kohanim and a yehey ratzon. [38]
  7. Then the kohen makes a hagefen on the wine and drinks a little[39]. Sepharadim have the custom to make a bracha on besamim,[40] while Ashkenazim do not.[41]
  8. Some then have the custom to recite another bracha of asher kidesh ubar bim'ei imo without shem u'malchut.[42]

Giving the Money

  1. According to Sephardim, the primary halacha is that one give the equivalent of 90 grams of pure silver, but it's preferable to give the equivalent of 93 grams. [43]According to Ashkenazim, one should give the equivalent of 96 grams of pure silver and the minhag is to give 100 grams.[44]
  2. One does not necessarily need to give silver coins; he could give that value in merchandise as well, but not with land or documents.[45] According to many poskim, our paper money or coins should not be used since they lack inherent value.[46] Others are lenient.[47] Therefore, it is best to use silver coins.[48]
  3. One cannot write a check for the requisite amount to fulfill pidyon haben.[49]
  4. When the father gives the money to the kohen, he should give it wholeheartedly, without the expectation that he will be getting the money back[50] If the kohen then decides on his own to give the money back, the father is permitted to take it.[51] If the father did, incorrectly, stipulate that he is giving the money on condition that he receive the money back, that pidyon is nevertheless valid but only if the kohen was aware of this condition.[52]

Meal of Pidyon Haben

  1. The practice is to make a meal on the occasion of a Pidyon HaBen.[53] This meal is considered a seudat mitzva,[54]and eating at a meal of a pidyon haben is like fasting for 84 days.[55] Even if it is done late, the meal is still considered a seudat mitzva.[56]
  2. It is not necessary to have bread at this meal.[57]
  3. Some have the custom to do the meal before the pidyon, while others do the pidyon and then eat the meal.[58]
  4. The custom is not to recite Shehasimcha Bimono at a pidyon haben.[59]

Choosing a Kohen

  1. Ideally, the father should choose a kohen who is a talmid chacham. [60]However, if he cannot find one he should use any kohen and should not wait for a talmid chacham.[61] Furthermore, if one has a relative who is a Kohen, he may be given preference over a Torah scholar, even if he is ignorant in Torah, in the interest of avoiding strife and hard feelings.[62]
  2. The child should be redeemed from a male kohen and not from a female kohenet.[63]
  3. The poskim differ as to whether a kohen under the age of thirteen can receive the pidyon. [64] All agree that a kohen who is unmarried is still eligible. [65]
  4. Some poskim say that you may not use a kohen who desecrates shabbat publicly. [66]

Garlic and Sugar

When Should the Pidyon Haben Take Place?

  1. Pidyon HaBen may not be performed before 30 days from the baby's birth have passed and should be done on the 31st day without delaying. This includes the day of the birth and day of the pidyon, meaning that the pidyon should take place 4 weeks plus 2 days after the birth (i.e. if baby is born on Monday, pidyon would be on a Wednesday four weeks later).[67] Ashkenazim wait until 29 days and 12.75 hours have passed from the moment of the birth. This is usually accomplished by having the Pidyon Haben during the day.[68] Sephardim hold that the Pidyon is on the 31st day even before 29 days and 12.75 hours have passed.[69] The pidyon cannot be done before the 31st day, even if 29 days, 12 hours, and 793 chalakim have passed.[70]

Night or Day

  1. The Ashkenazic minhag is not to perform a Pidyon HaBen at night.[71] On the other hand, the Sephardic minhag is specifically to perform it at night. [72]

If the Baby is in the Hospital

  1. In the unfortunate event that the baby is in the hospital when the pidyon should take place, they should not delay the pidyon for that. Rather, they should perform the pidyon on-time without the baby being present.[73]

Shabbat or Yom Tov

  1. A Pidyon HaBen shouldn't be performed on Shabbat or Yom Tov.[74] Even if one uses an item that isn't muktzeh to redeem his son, it is forbidden.[75] However, if one did so, albeit inappropriately, it is still a valid redemption, and they need not do another pidyon.[76]
  2. If the 31st day falls out on Shabbat, the pidyon is pushed off until Motzaei Shabbat.[77]
  3. If the 31st day falls out on Yom Tov, the pidyon should be pushed until after Yom Tov, as the pidyon cannot be done on Yom Tov Sheni either.[78]

Fast Day

  1. Some say that if the 31st day falls out on a fast day it is pushed off until the nighttime, whereas others say that it is performed in the daytime and only the meal is delayed until the nighttime. [79]

Erev Pesach

  1. If the pidyon falls out on Erev Pesach, it should ideally be done at night, or early in the morning before the hour that Chametz becomes prohibited so that a full meal can be eaten.[80]
  2. Since a pidyon is a seudat mitzva, firstborns, who are supposed to fast on Erev Pesach (see Tanit Bechorot) can attend a pidyon and eat there to exempt themselves from the fast.[81] It is permissible to eat at a pidyon, even if it is being celebrated late.[82]

Chol Hamoed

  1. It is permitted to perform a pidyon haben on Chol Hamoed, even if it is not being done on-time.[83]

Sefirat Haomer

  1. Some poskim allow music during sefirat haomer in celebration of a pidyon haben because it is for a mitzva[84]

Three Weeks, Nine Days, and Tisha B'av

see Pidyon during the Three Weeks

  1. Even though meat is customarily not eaten during the Nine Days, if a pidyon haben falls out during that time, meat may be eaten. However, people shouldn't go just so they can eat meat.[85] They certainly cannot push off the pidyon haben until the Nine Days just to enable eating meat.[86]
  2. Even those who have the custom of not shaving or getting a haircut during the three weeks, the father of the baby boy who is performing the pidyon haben, may shave for the occasion. However, during the week of Tisha B'av, one should not be lenient.[87]
  3. Even those who refrain from wearing Shabbat clothing during the week of Tisha B'av, the parents of the child may wear Shabbat clothing for the pidyon haben.[88]
  4. If the pidyon haben falls out on Tisha B'av, some say to do the pidyon near the end of the day, and the meal following the fast.[89] Others say to do the whole thing after Tisha B'av.[90]
  5. If the pidyon haben falls out on Tisha B'av, the father still recites shehecheyanu.[91]

Purim

  1. A pidyon haben can be done on Purim.[92]

Links

Sources

  1. Rambam (Bikkurim 11:1), Shulchan Aruch YD 305:1, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 221
  2. Shemot 22:28
  3. Shemot 13:13, Mishna Kidushin 29a
  4. Rambam Sefer HaMitzvot (Aseh #80), Sefer Hachinuch Mitzva 18, Shulchan Aruch Y"D 305:1, Smag Aseh 143-144, Smak 243, Yereim 140
  5. Shemot 13:2
  6. Rashi Shemot 13:2 explains that Hashem "acquired" the firstborns when he killed the Egyptian firstborns and saved the Jewish ones. See also Shemot 13:15. The Zohar (Intro 14a, cited in Pidyon Haben Kehilchato p. 4) says that redeeming a firstborn is a merit that it should live.
  7. Gemara Bechorot 3b, Pidyon Haben Kehilchato 1:3. See, however, Seforno Shemot 13:15.
  8. Sefer Hachinuch (Mitzvah 18)
  9. Mishna (Bechorot 46a), Shulchan Aruch YD 305:17, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 251
  10. Shulchan Aruch YD 305:22
  11. See Pidyon Haben Kehilchato 2:9-16.
  12. Gemara Bechorot 4a, Shulchan Aruch YD 305:18, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 164:9, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 273
  13. The opinion of the Tanna Kamma in Mishna Bechorot 47b, Rambam Bikkurim 11:16, Shulchan Aruch YD 305:24, Pidyon Haben Kehilchato 2:17, Yalkut Yosef (Sova Semachot v. 2, p. 251)
  14. Pidyon Haben Kehilchato 2:20 quoting Har Tzvi YD 248, Yalkut Yosef (Sova Semachot v. 2, p. 254)
  15. Pidyon Haben Kehilchato 2:22 cites a dispute between Chelkat Yoav YD 26 who held that the baby is exempt and Igrot Moshe YD 3:125 who held that the baby is obligated. Chelkat Yaakov 1:41 held that it should be done without a beracha.
    • Yalkut Yosef (Sova Semachot vol. 2, pg. 253) holds that the baby is obligated in pidyon haben without a bracha, though one who recites a נeracha has on who to rely, since most poskim nowadays say that it must be performed with a beracha.
    • Nishmat Avraham vol 2. YD 305:5 says that nowadays one must perform a pidyon.
  16. Pidyon Haben Kehilchato concludes that in our time there is no question since the doctors only begin to use tool after the baby left the edge of the womb.
  17. Pidyon Haben Kehilchata 2:23, Otzar Pidyon Haben 1:note 46, Yalkut Yosef (Sova Semachot vol. 2, pg. 255), Otzar Pidyon Haben 1:46
  18. Yalkut Yosef (Sova Semachot vol. 2, p. 255), Shevet Halevi 3:176
  19. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 255
  20. Kiddushin 29a, Rambam Hilchot Bikkurim 11:1, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 224
  21. Gemara Kiddushin 29a derives from the pasuk that if the father doesn't redeem his son then the son is obligated to redeem himself when he grows up. Shulchan Aruch YD 305:15, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 164:8 and Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 224 codify this.
    • The Pitchei Teshuva YD 305:25 quotes the Zichron Yosef who explains that the child should wait until he's the age of Bar Mitzvah so that he is obligated in the Mitzvah himself because as a child he's not obligated in the mitzvah and there's no even Chinuch for it because it's a one time mitzvah. Minchat Chinuch 392:1 has a doubt if a child did a pidyon haben for himself before he was bar mitzvah if it works since it comparable to paying off a debt, which doesn't depend on being of age for mitzvot.
    • After the son has become bar mitzvah Pidyon Haben Kehilchato (p. 7 fnt. 17) quotes a dispute whether there still exists a mitzvah on the father or the only mitzvah applies to the son. Minchat Chinuch 392:1 maintains based on the Sefer HaChinuch that the mitzvah on the father continues to be the primary mitzvah. Shu"t Harashba 2:321 agrees.
    However, the Rivash 131 argues that once the child has reached the age of 13, the obligation is lifted entirely from the father and transfers to the child.
  22. Rambam Hilchot Bikkurim 11:2, Tur and Shulchan Aruch YD 305:2, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 164:7 based on Gemara Kiddushin 29a which derives from a pasuk that just as she doesn't need to be redeem, she isn't commanded to redeem
  23. Pidyon Haben Kehilchato 1:9, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 233. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 228 writes that if the mother redeemed the son, the father should do so again, without the beracha
  24. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 247
  25. Maharil (Minhagim, Hilchot Pidyon HaBen #5) quotes the Mahari Segal who holds that an orphaned firstborn should do his own redemption when he grows up. This is also quoted in the Or Zarua (vol 1, Bechorot, Siman 514). This is codified by the Rama YD 305:10 quoting the Sh”t Rivash 131. Many achronim agree including the Levush 305:9, Taz 305:11, Maadenei Melech (pg 266, quoted by Shach 305:11), Sh”t Yeriyot HaOhel 15 (quoted by Pitchei Teshuva YD 305:16), Sh”t Chemdat Shlomo YD 31-2, Kesot HaChoshen 243:17, Atzei Levonah 305, Sh”t Nachalat Yacov 4, Sh”t Tzemach Tedek 3:222, Zochrenu LeChaim YD (Peh pg 209b), Sh”t Mahaneh Chaim EH 3:75, Sh”t Meshivat Nefesh 2:40, Sh”t Tiferet Yosef YD 31, Pri Adama (vol 1, pg 139d) in name of the rabbis of Yerushalyim, Sh”t Maaseh Avraham 52, Yafeh LeLev YD 305:4, Sh”t Bet Meir 18, Sh”T Beni Binyamin 5, Sh”t Har Tzvi 242, Sh”t Yabia Omer OC 3:27, YD 8:31, Yalkut Yosef (305:13), Ben Ish Chai in Rav Brachot (81:1). [I didn’t get a chance to look up these sources but found them quoted in Sefer Otzer Pidyon HaBen (pg 217-9).]
  26. Tzedah LaDerech (Parshat Bo) in name of Maharal of Prague, Shach 305:20, Biur HaGra 305:15, Teshuvat Hagoan Melisa 22, Aruch Hashulchan 305:11, Ikrei HaDaat 33:4, Toafot Raam YD 45, Pidyon Nefesh 4:6, Daat Kedoshim 305:14, Sh”t Maharam Shik 300, Shaarei Tzedek 179, Sh”t Meshiv Dvar 87, Sh”t Tiferet Tzvi 42, Sh”t Dvar Moshe 75, Sh”t Avnei Nezer YD 396, SH”t Arugat HaBosem YD 240, Avnei Zichron 2:97, Degel Reuven 3:17, Orach Yosher YD 27, Yad David (Kiddushin 53b in the note), Maaseh Avraham 52, Sh”t Tov Taam VeDaat 2:125, Shevet Menashe 130, Mirei Kohen 1:36, Sh”t Tirosh VeYitzhar 129, Yad Yitzchak 1:25, Bar Livay YD 23-4, VaYan Avraham YD 4, and Gur Aryeh Yehuda 117. [I didn’t get a chance to look up these sources but found them quoted in Sefer Otzer Pidyon HaBen (pg 219-220).]
    • Rav Mordechai Eliyahu (comment to Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 164:8) writes that the minhag is that Bet Din, the grandfather, or someone else performs the Pidyon HaBen.
    • Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 164:8 seems to accept both options of having the Bet Din redeem him or redeeming himself when he becomes Bar Mitzvah.
    • There’s actually another two options brought by the poskim that some say that the child should redeem himself even before he grows up and some say that the grandfather should redeem the child. For a discussion of who holds these opinions and who argues see Otzer Pidyon HaBen (pg 220-1).
  27. Otzer Pidyon HaBen (pg 222), Sh”t Chatom Sofer 295, Sh”t Arugat HaBosem 240, Sh”t Pani Mabin 226, Sh”t Shevet Sofer 98, Sh”t Tov Taam VeDaat 2:125, and Mishneh Halachot YD 231.
  28. See previous note. See also Rabbis from Yeshiva Har Bracha who says that the Bet Din should do it and Rav Dov Liyor who says that the child should do it when he becomes the age of Bar Mitzvah.
  29. Yalkut Yosef (Sova Semachot vol. 2, pg. 315)
  30. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 316
  31. Yalkut Yosef (Sova Semachot v. 2, p. 317, Shu"t Mahari Vail 189, Yam Shel Shlomo Kiddushin 1:54. This isn't necessary however.
  32. Rama 305:10, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot v. 2, p. 317
    The poskim write that we aren't really giving the father a choice if he wants the coins or his son. Halachically, there is no choice or option. The father has a mitzvah to fulfill, which he is required to observe. If, theoretically, the father would refuse to redeem his child, the Kohen would have no claim to the child.
    • Chut Shani 92 explains that we only use this terminology to get the father excited about his opportunity to fulfill the mitzva of pidyon haben.
    • Shu”t Minchat Shlomo 1:62 suggests that we want people to be aware that the money is for the pidyon haben, and not just an unrelated gift that we are giving to the kohen. This is important because if the father gives the money without the proper understanding of the transaction, it could be that the pidyon haben doesn't count.
    • see also Aruch Hashulchan 305:36
  33. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot v. 2, p. 317
  34. Yalkut Yosef (Sova Semachot v. 2, p. 318), Perisha 305:21
  35. Gemara Pesachim 121b, Rambam Bikkurim 11:5, Taz 305:9, Shach 305:9, Yalkut Yosef (Sova Semachot v. 2, p. 319), Rabbi Eli Mansour
  36. Yalkut Yosef (Sova Semachot v. 2, p. 319), Rabbi Eli Mansour
  37. Yalkut Yosef (Sova Semachot v. 2, p. 326), Rabbi Eli Mansour
  38. Yalkut Yosef (Sova Semachot v. 2, p. 327), Rabbi Eli Mansour
  39. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 329 says that you only need to have a little bit of wine, as the Taz 265:10 writes regarding drinking wine at the bris, that since the only reason for having wine is because we don't sing praise without wine, there is no minimum amount to drink
  40. Yalkut Yosef (Sova Semachot vol. 2, pg. 327), Rabbi Eli Mansour. This custom is mentioned by the Rosh Bechorot Hilchot Pidyon Bechor Siman 1 and Shu”t HaRashba 1:200
  41. Rav Eliezer Melamed
  42. Yalkut Yosef (Sova Semachot v. 2, p. 327), Rabbi Eli Mansour
    This beracha is mentioned by the Tur 305 in the name of the Geonim. The Bach there, writes that the reason for this is similar to the beracha after a brit mila, asher kidesh yedid mibeten. However, the Rosh (Bechorot 8:1 and Kiddushin 1:41) says that the minhag is not to recite this beracha
    Shulchan Gavoha 305:21 concludes that the minhag is to recite it without a beracha. Nahar Mitzrayim 26 agrees.
  43. Rabbi Eli Mansour, Yalkut Yosef YD 305:42 based on Sh"t Yechave Daat 4:54. (Rav Mordechai Eliyahu in his comment to Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 164:1 writes that the amount is about 100 grams of silver. However, this may be based on an older calculation of the Darham. See Shiurim.)
  44. Rav Chaim Kanievsky in Shiurin Deoritta (pg 35 #17), Rav Hershel Schachter in Shuir on Parshat Bo (towards end of shiur)
  45. SHulchan Aruch YD 305:3, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 279
  46. Shu"t Chatam Sofer YD 134, Aruch Hashulchan 305:18, Shu"t Oneg Yom Tov YD 102, Minchat Shlomo 71:23
  47. Shu"t Ein Yitzchak YD 30
  48. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 282, Rav Eliezer Melamed
  49. Pidyon Haben Kehilchato 7:13, Otzar Pidyon Haben 14:6, Rav Eliezer Melamed
  50. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 164:6, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 286.
  51. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 286 Chida (Midbar Kedemot 80:10) writes that there is an old tradition that happily giving the money for pidyon haben and not taking it back is a merit that the child should be saved from illness. Yalkut Yosef (Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 290) quotes this.
  52. Shulchan Aruch 305:8 based on Tosafot Bechorot 51b, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 286-287
  53. Rama 305:10, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 164:1, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 342
  54. Magen Avraham 568:9, Mishna Brura 568:16, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 342, Rama 551:10. Terumat Hadeshen 268 writes that this meal is considered a Seudat Mitzva. He proves this from Baba Kamma 80a which tells a story of Rav, Shmuel and Rav Assi who went together to a meal, and Rashi there says it was for a pidyon haben, because the Gemara says that Rav would never eat outside of a seudat mitzva.
  55. Shu"t Rashban 136, Taamei Haminhagim pg. 399, Sdei Chemed 80:54, Kaf Hachaim 249:14. See Rabbi Mansour on dailyhalacha.com or Sdei Chemed 60:54 about the importance of the meal of a pidyon haben.
  56. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 342, Pri Megadim A"A 568:10
  57. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 342, Rabbi Eli Mansour
  58. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 345
  59. Rama 305:10, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 349. The Terumat Hadeshen 268 mentions that some have the custom to recite it while some don't
  60. Migdal Oz 6:2, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 296, Rabbi Eli Mansour
  61. Pidyon Haben Kehilchato 5:7, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 296, Rabbi Eli Mansour
  62. Pidyon Haben Kehilchato 5:10, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 296, Rabbi Eli Mansour
  63. Aruch Hashulchan 305:3, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 229, Rambam Bikkurim 1:10, Rosh Bechorot 8:4, Sefer Hachinuch Mitzva 392, Shu"t Harashba 1:836, Radbaz 4:196. According to one opinion in Tosafot Kiddushin 8a, and Pesachim 49b however, it seems that a female kohenet can be used.
    Shu"t Chatam Sofer YD 301 suggests that if one is concerned that he will not find a male Kohen, he can give the money to a female kohenet on condition that if he doesn't find a male kohen afterwards, that this will fulfill his obligation but if he does find another male kohen, he will give him money as well
  64. see Aruch Hashulchan 305:13 and Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 298-300
  65. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 298
  66. Otzar Pidyon Haben 6:12, Shevet Halevi 2:172, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 297, Rabbi Eli Mansour
  67. Mishna Bechorot 49a says that doing a pidyon haben before thirty days have passed is ineffective, as the pasuk says ופדויו מבן חודש תפדה (Bamidbar 18:16). Shulchan Aruch YD 305:11, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 304 and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 164:3 codify this.
  68. Rav Eliezer Melamed.
    • According to the Magen Avraham (339:8), Maharam Shick YD 302 and many others, the duration of the Pidyon Ha-Ben month is measured in complete days, and therefore a Pidyon Haben should take place on the 31st day after a firstborn boy is born. A day in this context refers to a day as it is defined in virtually all areas of halachah, as beginning and ending at sundown (the day follows the night). According to this opinion, the thirty-one day count includes the day of birth, and therefore the first day is considered to have passed at the first sunset after the birth, even if this is just minutes after delivery. According to this opinion, there is no need to take into account the astronomical month, and as soon as thirty halachic days pass one can perform the Pidyon.
    • According to the Shach YD 305:12, however, the duration of a month for Pidyon Ha-Ben is determined by the the time that transpires from one new moon to the next. Since the time that transpires from one new moon to the next is 29 days, 12 hours and 793/1080 of an hour (usually called 793 chalakim), the time for Pidyon Ha-Ben begins when the firstborn child is exactly 29 days, 12 hours and 793 chalakim old (Shach, Yoreh De’ah 305:12).
    • Pischei Teshuvah 305:17, Shu"t Noda Biyehuda Tinyana 187, Rabbi Akiva Eiger (Tinyana 22) write that common practice among Ashkenazim is to take both opinions into account, and to delay the fulfillment of the mitzvah until both periods have elapsed.see Chabad.org
  69. Yalkut Yosef YD 305:84 writes that Sephardim don't hold like the Shach because the Magen Avraham 339:8, among others, disagrees but one who wants to be strict for the Shach may do so. This is the opinion of his father expressed in Shu"t Yabea Omer 9:pg. 251. Rabbi Eli Mansour agrees. However, Chacham Benzion Abba Shaul (Ohr Letzion 2:pg. 153) maintains that one must wait in accordance with the Shach, as does Shu"t Tevuot Shemesh YD 2:80
  70. Otzar Pidyon Haben 15:2, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 304-305, Mishna Berura 333:27
  71. Shach 305:12, See Shu"t Noda BeYehuda (Tinyana, Yoreh Deah 187) and Otzar Pidyon HaBen 17:2. Rav Hershel Schachter in Shiur on Parshat Bo (towards end of shiur) agrees about the Ashkenazic minhag.
    • Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 164:3 writes that the Ashkenazic minhag is not to perform it at night, unless the 31st day fell out on Shabbat or Yom Tov in which case the Pidyon HaBen is performed the night after the 31st and not pushed off until the morning.
    • The Noda Biyehuda YD 187 says it should be done during the day, to ensure that 29 days,
    • Maharsham 568:5 says because the makkat bechorot was finished during the day.
  72. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 313 (YD 305:67), however, writes that Sephardic minhag is to perform a pidyon haben at night.
  73. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 239, Rama 305:10
  74. Shulchan Aruch YD 305:11 and OC 339:4 based on Rivash 156, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 337.
    The Terumat Hadeshen (no. 269) explains that a pidyon haben shouldn't take place on Shabbat because it appears like a business transaction. Even if one were to give the money before Shabbat on condition that it would be effective on Shabbat, it is still an issue because there would be doubt as to when to recite the bracha and perform the meal in honor of the pidyon haben. See Shu"t Zekan Aharon (Walkin) vol. 1 Siman 18.
  75. Magen Avraham 339:8, Mishna Berura 339:27, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 341
  76. Shach 305:12, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 341
  77. Magen Avraham 339:8, Mishna Brura 339:27, Birkei Yosef 305:15, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 304, Kitzur S"A 164:3
  78. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 340. Chatam Sofer 6:7 (quoted in Pitchei Teshuva 305:20 includes Yom Tov Sheni Shel Galuyot. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 341 agrees
  79. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 164:3 writes that if the 31st falls out on a fast day it is pushed off until the nighttime. Rav Mordechai Eliyahu (comments on Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 164:3) writes that from the Shach, Magen Avraham, and Dagul Mervava it seems that only the meal is delayed until the nighttime.
  80. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 330
  81. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 331, Chayei Adam 129:12
  82. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 331
  83. Rama YD 305:11 brings two opinions about whether a pidyon haben can be performed on chol hamoed, and concludes that the mainstream opinion is to allow it. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 332. Shulchan Aruch 546:4, Kaf Hachaim 546:17, Mishna Berura 546:11. Birkei Yosef 305:18, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 164:3 all say that it is permissible
  84. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 333
  85. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 334, Rama 551:10
  86. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 334. Shaare Teshuva 551:33 and Kaf Hachaim 551:160 write that if one did so, people cannot eat meat there
  87. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 335
  88. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 335, Pidyon Haben Kehilchato 9:10
  89. Shach 305:12, Birkei Yosef 305:16, Mishna Brura 568:20, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 335
  90. Aruch Hashulchan 305:45
  91. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 336, Shu"t Haelef Lecha Shlomo 349
  92. Rama 696:8, Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 337