Where can I find the original sources for the pidyon haben ceremony? I don't mean the verses in Torah that gives us the halakha, rather something on the rituals of the ceremony itself (much like Ketubot contains the text of and some context around the sheva brachot).

  • I'm not sure what you mean by your last parenthetical remark as I know of no such connections. Are you looking for the text of the ritual where the kohen asks the father if he prefers to give his son or the money etc.?
    – Double AA
    Nov 14, 2012 at 3:45
  • Wait, do you mean Tractate Ketubot or the text of the actual ketubah?
    – Double AA
    Nov 14, 2012 at 3:46
  • 1
    @DoubleAA I mean the tractate Nov 14, 2012 at 4:32

1 Answer 1


The earliest source I can find is Rosh who quotes an enactment of the Geonim to have a ceremony surrounding the redemption with its blessings (which are outlined on Pesachim 121b). He writes:

ומצאתי תיקון הגאונים וז"ל: ותיקון גאונים לסדורי מנהגא דפדיונא וברכתא דיליה הכי: מייתי ליה אבוה קמיה כהנא ומידע ליה לכהנא דבכור פטר רחם הוא. ולשייליה כהנא: מאי בעית טפי: ברך בוכרך דין, או חמש סלעים דמחייבת למפרקיה בהו? ומהדר ליה: ברי בוכרא בעינא טפי, והי לך חמש סלעים בפירקוניה; ובהדי דיהיב בידיה מברך: בא"י אמ"ה אקב"ו על פדיון הבן; בא"י אמ"ה שהחיינו וכו'.‏
And I found an enactment of the Geonim which said thus: The enactment of the Geonim was to place the redemption and blessings thus: the father brings the son to the priest and tells [the priest] that this is a Bechor who needs to be redeemed. The priest asks, "What do you prefer: your firstborn son or the 5 selas which you are required to redeem him with?" The father responds, "I prefer my firstborn son, and here are the five selas for his redemption." The father then blesses "Baruch Attah....Al Pidyon HaBen" and "Baruch Attah...Shehechiyanu..." (My translation from Responsa of Rosh 49:1. A parallel piece exists in Rosh to Kiddushin 1:41 and in Rosh's postscript to Bechorot 1.)

Rosh actually quotes a custom to say further blessings but rejects it, and as far as I know no one nowadays says those blessings.


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