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At every Pidyon Haben I've been to (all of them in Jerusalem) I have noticed that the baby is bedecked in Jewelry.

Usually, it's the ladies present who remove their's and place it in the baby until after the ceremony.

What is the point of this and why not also do so for a Brit Mila? I do not see this mentioned in any Halacha Sefer.

Ideas welcome. Sources appreciated.

  • 2
    Same with Pidyon Peter Chamor – Double AA Jan 13 at 12:58
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Bechadrei Chadorim mentions the reason is

לקשט, המקור הוא להעלות את "ערכו" של התינוק ולהראות את חשיבותו למשפחתו.

To adorn the child: The source is to enhance the value of the child and to show his importance to his family.

Rav Daniel Cohen suggests the reason as:

סיבת המנהג הינו תיקון לעגל הזהב , אשר בו הנשים סרבו לתת את תכשיטיהן והגברים חטפו אותם מהן. לכן ישנו שימוש בתכשיטים לביצוע המצווה של פדיון הבכורות.

The reason of the minhag is to repair the sin of the golden calf where the women refused to give their jewelry and the men tore it off them. Therefore, jewelry is used to perform the mitzvah of redeeming the firstborn. (given voluntarily by the women for a mitzvah rather than a sin).

Both could be understandable reasons.

There is a link between the first-born and the sin of the golden calf. Originally the temple service was to have been done by the first-born children. After the sin of the golden calf, the service was taken away from the first-born and given to the Kohanim.

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