Korah 5776: How Much is Your Child Worth?

“Which do you prefer—your firstborn child, or the five coins required to redeem him?” This disconcerting question is part of the ritual known as pidyon haben, the redemption of the firstborn son. Rabbi Asher ben Yehiel (13th–14th centuries) reports this question as part of the liturgy from the geonic period in his Talmud commentary, and…