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September 03, 1982 - Image 65

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-09-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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01111 A•Vri'i
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, September 3, 1982

IsraelMedal Struck for Picyon Haben Rite for Firstborn Son

JERUSALEM — Israel
has issued a new official
medal struck only in silver.
It features the Redemption
of the Firstborn (Pidyon
Haben). The obverse de-
scribes The Temple; the re-
verse depicts the verse:
From a month old shall you
redeem them; the redemp-
tion price shall be fixed at
five shekels of silver, after
the Shekel of the
Sanctuary" (Numbers
18:16).
It is the practice of the
Jewish people to set apart
for God's service the first
yield of the field and home.

firstborn, to fulfill the
priestly functions. The Lord
then commanded Jews to
redeem the firstborn from
the obligatibn to serve. This
process is referred to as "Pi-
dyon Haben" or "Redemp-
tion of the Firstborn."
The ceremony is per-
formed on the 31st day fol-
lowing the birth of a
firstborn son. Should the
31st day fall on Shabat or a
festival, the ceremony is
postponed to the following
day. If one is not redeemed
by his father, he must re-
deem himself upon reaching
manhood.

The Jew sets aside the
first portion of the dough,
"HalIa," as the priest's
share. In the same manner
he reserves the first fleece
shown from his flock,
"Raishit Hagez," and the
first fruits of his land,
"Bikurim." He is even told
to set apart his firstborn
son: "to better appreciate
that man possesses only
that which the all-merciful
Creator sees fit to grant
him" (Sefer Ha-Hinuch —
The Book of Instruction).
Before the Sanctuary's
completion, the firstborn
of each household was
given to the Creator to
serve as priest — to stand
before God and fulfill the
spiritual needs of the
family and nation as a
whole. The special status
of the firstborn was also a
reminder of the miracul-
ous manner in which the
firstborn of Israel were
saved while the firstborn
of Egypt perished during
the Exodus.
Upon completion of the
Sanctuary, the descendants
of Aaron, the Levites and
Kohanim, were instructed
to act in place of the

Redemption is only re-
quired of the mother's
firstborn. If the firstborn's
father is a Kohen or Levi or
the mother is the daughter
of a Kohen or Levi, redemp-
tion is not required.
Redemption may be
performed with money or
its equivalent, provided
that whatever is used is
equal to five shekels of
the "Shekel of the
Sanctuary," which con-
tained 20 grams of pure
silver.
The ceremony is first ex-
plained to the parents of the
child and the appropriate
declarations and blessings
recited.
Five shekels are pre-
sented by the father to the
Kohen, who then returns
the child to his parents, dec-
laring: "I have received
from you these five selaim
(shekels) for the redemption
of your son and he is re-
deemed according to Jewish
Law." On completion of the
ceremony the Kohen may, if
he wishes, return the
shekels as a gift.
The Israel Government
Coins and Medals Corp. has

issued a set of five silver
medals bearing the state
emblem. Each medal con-
tains 20.57 grams of pure
silver.
The design of the medal
is based on the ancient
Jewish shekel of the Sec-

Florence Kreger

Florence S. "Flossie"
Kreger, a member of Jewish
communal organizations,
died Aug. 26 at age 75.
Born in Milwaukee, Wis.,
Mrs. Kreger was a past
president of Hadassah and a
national board member.
She was a member of Tem-
ple Beth El. She earned a
degree in English literature
from Smith College.
She leaves her husband,
Herschel V.; two sons,
David C. and Alan T.; a
brother, Dr. Harry C.
Saltzstein; and three
granddaughters.

sitivity on Israel's part in its
relations with the United
States.
McGrory, whose column
appears in the Detroit Free
Press, cited figures showing
U.S. aid to Israel at $7 mil-
lion per day, which works
out to $11.47 per person, per
year.

Judaica Guide

CHICAGO — "Library of
Congress Subject Headings
for Judaica," a guide de-
signed to aid librarians and
users of Judaica collections,
has been published by
BYLS Press.
The paperback volume
can be obtained by writing
the publisher, BYLS Press,
7356 N. Francisco Ave.,
Chicago, Ill. 60659. There is
a charge.

tiquities.
For information, write
the Israel Government
Coins and Medals Corp.,
Liaison Office for North
America, 350 Fifth Ave.,_
19th Floor, New York, N.Y.
10118.

these are only a few of the
features you'll find weekly
in The Jewish News

Colunist Repaid for 'Aid'

WASHINGTON — Syn-
dicated columnist Mary
McGrory received a check
for $11.47 from a reader
when she urged more sen-

and Temple period and
Profits from the sale of
Jewish Law for the Re- these medals are ear- °
demption of the marked for the improve-
Firstborn. There is space ment of Israel's landscapes,
for inscription of the establishment and
child's name, the date of preservation of her national
the ceremony and other parks and natural reserves,
and excavation of an-
family details.

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