I once heard that a certain figure (I believe the GR"A but may be mistaken) made sure to redeem his son from different Kohanim upon meeting them at different junctures in his life. The idea being that since we are uncertain about the lineage of Kohanim today, he would be improving his chances of fulfilling the miswah at least once with a definite Kohen.

A) Does anyone know the source of this story? I of course welcome any related information (e.g. sources that commend or even prescribe such a practice).

B) Were one to proceed as such, would a new blessing be required each time?

This Q concerns a different but related scenario asked about here.


1 Answer 1


The Pischei Teshuva in YD 305:12 brings from the Yaavetz (the Chasam Sofer disagrees) this exact idea:

גם נראה שלצאת ידי כל ספק האפשרי יש ג"כ על האב לפדות בכורו מכל כהנים שיוכל למצוא דלמא מתרמי ליה כהן מיוחס ודאי

Obviously a bracha wouldn’t be recited since there’s no way to be more sure the second time than the first.

  • Note this is definitely not required since המוציא מחברו עליו הראיה
    – Double AA
    Jun 30, 2023 at 18:04
  • @Chatzkel thank you for bringing down the פתחי תשובה. Can you elaborate on the blessing and provide a source backing up your assertion? That would improve your answer immensely. Jul 2, 2023 at 22:35
  • @Deuteronomy the assertion is based on logic. If you’re doing it again by every Kohen you meet, why is the second one more worthy than the first? If you KNOW the second one is more worthy then I’d understand to make another blessing, but if it’s the same sofek then why is it better the second time over the first? Therefore, either the first pidyon blessing was good and this one is nothing, or their both no good and no blessing should be made either
    – Chatzkel
    Jul 2, 2023 at 23:27
  • Given that this entire practice assumes that the status of any Kohen is doubtful, then yes the question devolves upon the very first pidyon performed (i.e. perhaps no blessing ought be recited then either). And if a satisfactory answer is present for why it should in fact be recited despite the doubt in the first pidyon, then presumably said reason would be present in all of the rest.... Jul 3, 2023 at 1:40
  • if one were to do it by the first and not the second (all things being equal in the assumption that they are both doubtful) then blessing on the first and not the second seems like a תרתי דסתרי. Anyway, I appreciate your perspective and independent reasoning... ideally, I'd like to see a source that explicitly explores this. Thanks again. Jul 3, 2023 at 1:40

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