Most Brissim are done in the morning, as it is mentioned that "Zerizim Makdimim L'Mitzvos". Why is this not applicable to a Pidyon Haben ceremony? If it is applicable, then why have I observed that most people make Pidyon Habens towards evening?

  • This is a great question! Look at the Shulchan Aruach in Siman 305 Sif 11 that it should be done "miyad" (immediately) on the 31st day. The Shulchan Aruch didn't seem concerned about waiting like the answers point out. – Yehoshua Dec 17 '13 at 20:29

It could be that such a custom exists because the baby needs to be 29.5611 days old and if he was born close to the end of one day, then in the summer when the nights are under 12 hours long, he would not be old enough first thing in the morning. (See R Akiva Eiger to Shach 305:12 and Pitchei Teshuva 305:17 who discuss similar concerns.)

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  • Is not the Pidyon HaBen always on the 31st day? So suppose the baby was born at 8PM before Shekiya on 26 Sivan, the 31st day would be 27 Tamuz. 29.5611 days would be by 9AM 27 Tamuz, so why wait for the evening? And what about the majority that are born earlier in the day and there is no issue at all, why do they wait? – Gershon Gold May 29 '13 at 15:21
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    @GershonGold 9AM is late :) The morning starts at 530AM. Not everyone can do it at 9AM. (Also in parts of Europe the sun can set later than in NY so the kid might not be ready till ~10:30AM. Sunset today in Vilna is 9:40) As for your second question, presumably the minhag developed as a lo plug or so that people don't make mistakes trying to calculate the exact time. – Double AA May 29 '13 at 16:12
  • How could this be? That he needs to 29.5 days old and won't have this already 31 days after the birth? – Yehoshua Dec 17 '13 at 20:42
  • @Yehoshua What's wrong with the case I give in this answer? – Double AA Dec 17 '13 at 20:50
  • @DoubleAA I don't understand why on the 31st day you would need to make the pidyon later in the day in order to make sure 29.5611 days have passed? – Yehoshua Dec 17 '13 at 21:01

There is an opinion that a full lunar cycle must elapse before doing pidyon. One complete cycle takes about 29.5 days. If the baby was born late in the afternoon, and the pidyon haben ceremony is celebrated early in the 31st day, perhaps a complete lunar cycle has not yet elapsed.

However, sefaradim hold that one should do pidyon as soon as possible, on the night before the 31st day, since the day began the previous night. Chacham Yosef has a great teshuvah on this in Yabiah Omer, somewhere in chelek tet.

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  • What's the source for this? – Yehoshua Dec 17 '13 at 20:26

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