Wednesday, February 10, 2021

פדיון נפש, what is it?


Parshas Hashavua משפטים 
אם כפר יושת עליו ונתן פדין נפשו (שמות כ"א :ל

   The 4 TYPES OF פדיון נפש

1) The original פדיון נפש mentioned in the Torah.
If a שור מועד kills a person, the owner of the שור 
has to pay כופר - פדיון נפש

2)The  פדיון נפש mentioned by the ראשונים,
If someone ch"v  had a sick child or his children
died during or shortly after childbirth. The father would 
sell his child to another person. The reason for doing so
was in case the גזירה was on the father to lose his
children, he was no longer considered the father. 
( a similar concept we do today by adding a name. 

3) The Kabbalistic Pidyon Nefesh (רמב"ן) mentioned
in detail in Sefer "יוסף תהילות" (Chida)
They take 160 silver coins (גמטרי' כסף = חסד)  count 
17 of the coins and have כוונה for the שם אהוה.
Then you count 26 have כוונה for the שם הויה.
This procedure is done a few 
more times with different כוונות at each count.
Afterward, all the coins are mixed up again and 
more special תפילות are said.

The Chasam Sofer in his ספר הזכרון writes, 
In the year 1809 when Napolean laid siege on
Bratislava (Pressburg) He secretly arranged
for the Rosh Hakahal R. Moishe Shreiber
(same name as Chasam Sofer) to collect
541 ("גמטרי' ישראל) coins from the Pressburger
Yidden. He then gathered a מנין of his Talmidim
to secretly perform the פדיון נפש

4) The Chasidic פדיון נפש The Kvittel with the
בקשה ( Refuah, Zivugim, Parnasa, etc.) The
money given to the צדיק is called פדיון נפש.




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