Thursday, August 30, 2007

And soon there will be another?

Will there be a fifteenth* minyan in Studentville? Not immediately, but the seeds have been planted. We'll see what happens.

* OPEM II turned out to be a one-time thing after all, but I didn't count Hillel II Reform in the original count, so I still stand by the original count of 14.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Has anyone ever done this?

In a moment of boredom in shul, I was looking at the text of the Pidyon Haben ceremony (in a Birnbaum Ashkenazic siddur, it's about the same in the Artscroll).

The kohen says:
מאי בעית טפי -- ליתן לי בנך בכורך שהוא פטר רחם לאמו? או בעית לפדותו בעד חמש סלעים? כדמחויבתא דאורייתא
What would you like to do: do you choose to give me your firstborn son who opened the womb of his mother? or do you choose to redeem him for five selaim? as you are required from the Torah.

According to the standard text, the father answers:
חפץ אני לפדות את בני והילך דמי פדיונו כדמחויבתי דאורייתא
I choose to redeem my son, and here is the worth of his redemption that is required of me by the Torah.

But, what if he answers:
חפץ אני ליתן לך את בני והילך בני כדמחויבתי דאורייתא
I choose to give you my son, and here is the my son as required of me by the Torah.

Textual note: I punctuated the kohen's question differently from the siddurim. They put the question mark after כדמחויבתא דאורייתא. I put it before, because both are options available from the Torah, implying that the first option is not in compliance with Torah law.

Note for those who question my sanity: For reasons known to people who know me (or, perhaps to people who pay attention to my blog and comments in other places), I can guarantee you that I will never have the opportunity to actually try it. :-)

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