• Oh-6-Ate-Ate-Oh, Jerri

Pidyon haben

I grew up in Columbus, Ohio. My exposure to the world was through books, movies, and traveling. Seeing the world through a camera has allowed me to witness life that's far beyond what I knew or what I would normally be exposed to.

A while back, I was asked to photograph the pidyon haben of a friend's grandson. It was one of those experiences where I felt excited and nervous. It ended up being one of the most memorable moments of my life that I'll be forever grateful to have photographed.

The pidyon haben (Hebrew: פדיון הבן) or redemption of the first-born (if male and not by Caesarean)[1] is a mitzvah in Judaism whereby a Jewish firstborn son is "redeemed" by use of silver coins from his birth-state of sanctity, i.e. from being predestined by his firstborn status to serve as a priest.

The redemption is attained by giving five silver coins to a Kohen (a patrilineal descendant of the priestly family of Aaron).