We are doing a Pidyon Nefesh on Erev Yom Kippur.
If you would like us to do it on your behalf, please join.
Pidyon Nefesh [Soul Restoration]
For millennium Kabbalists have been practicing Pidyon Nefesh with special Kavanot. Kabbalistic compilations tell that it is one of the greatest Tikunim that can be done to purge a person from difficult decrees on him and open up his mazal [luck flow, for lack of a better translation] of Health, Healing, & Success. The advantage of this Tikun is that it is not set for specific things, rather it affects the whole person from head to toe. There have been people who did Pidyon Nefesh for something specific and came and told that it worked to help even other more serious things.
What is Pidyon Nefesh?
Pidyon Nefesh is a Tikun designed to absolve harsh decrees and open a person’s mazal to Blessing, Success, Livelihood, Fertility, Domestic Peace, and almost all human needs. It is known that people from the whole country come with all sorts of problems and actually see amazing miracles & wonders.
How is the Pidyon done?
Take 160 silver coins – shekels. Not agurot and half-shekels which are colored gold. Why silver? Because the Zohar tells that the color silver is like white and embodies mercy, whereas gold expresses din.
By the way, this is something that is good to observe, even in worldly matters. One who wants to buy a car – it is best to buy silver, or white, green, yellow. But not red or black, which are the colors of din.
The coins are taken and counted with holy Kavanot of Divine Names, special prayers, Psalms. This is done specifically in the morning, the time of mercy. And then either by dawn or right after Shacharit [Morning Service] when great mercy is aroused – the best time for Pidyon Nefesh.
Why precisely 160 shekel? It is written, “Man was made in the Divine צלם-160/Tzelem [Image]” (Bereishit 9:6) = ‘כסף-160/kesef [money]’. By means of money, we annul the decree and restore the Divine Image to the person that he lost by his mistakes, which caused the decree in the first place.
This is the general idea behind Pidyon. But if one knew how deep it goes and the details of how many Kavanot are involved he would be flabbergasted.
True stories about Pidyon Nefesh
An example of how a Pidyon actually saved someone’s life: Once a person from Ra’anana a five-year-old child who had a brain tumor 12 by 10, which is huge (this is recorded in the hospital file). They told the parents two weeks before the scheduled operation. They did a Pidyon Nefesh, after which the Rav advised them to do a checkup before the operation. At first, the doctors did not acquiesce. They ended up agreeing. The doctors made the checkup and were astonished to discover no more signs of any tumor! So was written in the file, “No symptoms of a tumor were found in the brain…” The parents became Torah observant and placed their children in religious schools.
However amazing this is, it is not the only such thing. There have been other cases of tumors that disappeared through doing a Pidyon.
It is important to point out that this does not happen in every such case. But if there is a decree upon a person, one of the best things to do is a Pidyon. Why one is healed and the other is not are Heaven’s considerations which are not given to us.
I saw cases where the Pidyon helped almost immediately in a wondrous manner. In other cases, it was not seen so clearly and quickly. It is important to know that the matter depends upon the personal Heavenly account of each individual. But in many instances, the power of Pidyon is able to push away the difficulty of din and bring mercy!
How does it work?
Our Rabbis of blessed memory teach that the cause of all illness is that the soul is as if taken captive in the hands of the evil accusing forces that start up with him due to his faults, causing damage. Being a ‘captive’ stops up the person’s mazal, making him feel as if things are closed from all sides. Illness is one of the offshoots.
Many books of Kabalah bring that it is worthwhile for a person to do a Pidyon Nefesh. The words Pidyon Nefesh mean “redeeming the soul”. It saves him from many problems and is actually like redeeming a prisoner who fell into the hands of the enemy.
In the work, ‘Kuntras Hayichieli’ it says that doing a Pidyon Nefesh is a powerful charm to help a sick person. There he says that “רפא ירפא-572/Rapo Yerapei [heal certainly heal]” (Shemot 21:19) plus 4 = פדיון נפש-576/Pidyon Nefesh. He continues to explain, saying some of the things we mentioned:
The idea behind the Tikun is to redeem a person’s soul from the decree upon him through the aid of a special prayer called Pidyon Nefesh, which liberates from all kinds of suffering – physical & spiritual. The order of the Pidyon is to take 160 shekel coins can count them according to a particular system based on Names of Hashem. This activates the Pidyon and sweetens the dinim [judgments] in their root. A prayer is said to bless the person afterward.
What about the rest of the year?
one can for sure make a pidyon nefesh any time of the year, we can make for you or anyone who needs, what we wrote there is that even for one that does not need it is good to do Erev Rosh Hashana, but when there is a need it is necessary to do any time of the year. the principle of Pidyon Nefesh Charity is that it will be significant the amount spent, so it changes on the financial ability of the person, there is a tradition 160 (which has a significance according to the kabbalah) but if for the person that is hard or to easy it can change.
We all know how important tefilla is to our lives and to Hashem.The more we cry out to Hashem and the more kavana we have in our daily tefilla the more siyata de shmaya we see from Hashem. Get the full text for the Parshas Haman segula here, as well as a short introduction.