desh ([personal profile] desh) wrote2004-09-23 09:26 am
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In Judaism, all first-born sons of their mothers (subject to certain restrictions) are promised to the priesthood. But the son's father can, and in fact is obligated to, buy the kid back at an age of at least one month, at the price of five silver coins or an equivalent amount of silver. This ritual is known as pidyon haBen.

I didn't know until yesterday, but this ritual actually needs a kohein (descendant of the ancient line of priests) present. And I'm a kohein.

So this morning, I went to synagogue, attended morning services, and then sold a kid back to his parents.

It's a very strange ritual. I don't know how I feel about participating in it in the future. I generally have problems with most ritual things that are assigned to kohanim nowadays, because we're no different than anyone else since the Temple was destroyed over 1900 years ago, and I'm not a big fan of the idea of it being rebuilt. But so it goes. I did it, it felt weird, but I think it was kind of fun for all involved. Archaic things sometimes are.

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