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Daily Mitzvah

Positive Commandment 80, 81

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Positive Commandment 80 (Digest)
Redeeming Firstborn Sons

"Give to Me the firstborn of your sons"Exodus 22:28.

We are commanded to "redeem" male firstborn and to give the redemption money – five sela'im – to the priest.

The obligation to redeem the firstborn son lies with the boy's father; the mother is not obligated in this mitzvah.

Positive Commandment 81 (Digest)
Redeeming Firstborn Donkeys

"The firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb"Exodus 34:20.

We are commanded to redeem a firstborn male donkey with a lamb—which is given to the priest. (Unless the owner wishes to give the priest the monetary value of the donkey.)

Levites are exempt from this mitzvah.


Translation of (the unabridged text of) Sefer Hamitzvot by Rabbi Berel Bell, member of the Rabbinical Court of Montreal and director of Teacher Training for the Jewish Learning Institute.

From "Sefer Hamitzvot in English," published by Sichos in English.
Daily Quote
As one person, with one heart
  –Midrash Mechilta (describing the Jews' encampment at Sinai to receive the Torah)
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