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Kind of related to What is my relationship to an object once I have pledged it as hekdesh?

Why would somebody pledge something to hekdesh and then redeem it when he could just donate money directly? Is there some effect on the object that is pledged that causes someone to do this?

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Of course, some of the time, the pledge is purposeful and the redemption is after a change of heart or the like. But I suspect you're right that sometimes the redemption was part of the original plan, in which cases this is a good question. +1. –  msh210 May 3 '13 at 19:34
    
It's probably the same reason people give gift cards instead of a check. –  Ariel May 3 '13 at 21:40
    
@Ariel, I don't understand that analogy. –  Daniel May 3 '13 at 21:45
    
@Daniel In both case you are giving money, but by giving a gift card it feels more meaningful. –  Ariel May 3 '13 at 22:01
    
reminds me of he.wikisource.org/wiki/… –  Double AA Mar 4 at 4:19
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2 Answers

If someone wishes to urgently make a pledge to the Beis Hamikash, e.g. for the sake of someone who is very ill or dying, and he does not have any money at present, his only option is to pledge an item or a piece of land. If later on he gets some money he has the option to redeem it, which of course he will do if he prefers to keep the item or the piece of land.

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My theory: In a time when barter was more common than it is today, people would pledge goods to the beis hamikdash for which there wasn't much use for their monetary value or for other personal reasons. Since there are only so many axes, fruit bowls, vintage autographed gladiator cards, etc that hekdesh could use, redeeming them would be a way for someone to give money to hekdesh, get something in return, and also have the rare opportunity to do what amounts to a chesed for God (k'vyachol) instead of the other way around.

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You mean, people only redeemed objects if it turns out the Gizbar didn't want them? –  Double AA Mar 4 at 4:16
    
The gemara in arachin (or maybe temurah) discusses the process of the gizborim selling land, so I would assume they only put unwanted things up for redemption. –  Yitzchak Mar 4 at 4:25
    
It's arachin 6-8th perek –  Double AA Mar 4 at 4:25
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