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Mitzvos Relating to Kohanim

54: Redemption of a Firstborn Donkey

"You shall redeem every firstborn donkey with a lamb..." (Shemos 34:20)

It is a mitzvah to redeem a firstborn male donkey for a sheep or its equivalent before it is thirty days old. The sheep is given to a kohein. This serves as a reminder of the miracle that Hashem killed all of the firstborn Egyptians who had tortured us (Sefer HaChinuch, mitzvah 22).

We also remember that donkeys helped us carry our gold and silver when we left Egypt (Berachos 5b).

Text Copyright 2007 by Rabbi Moshe Goldberger and



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