Project Genesis

Basics of Judaism

Basic Values and Morality

Importance of the First Born

Question: What is the importance of the first born?

Answer:  The first born have been important since earliest times; Abel sacrificed the first born of his flock (Gen.4:4), G-d smote the Egyptian first born (Ex.11:4ff), and we are commanded to sanctify the first born of both people and animals (Ex.13:1). But most of the key Biblical figures were younger sons: Isaac, who was Ishmael’s younger brother; Jacob, who was Esau’s younger (twin) brother; Joseph, who was Jacob’s second youngest son; and Ephrayim, who was Menasheh’s younger brother (Gen.:48). Apparently, in spite of the fact that the first born were traditionally important, and they still require redemption and inherit a double portion (Deut. 21:17), they often don’t become the leaders.

All the Best,
Rabbi Azriel Schreiber 

1 Follow-up »

  1. I have a question regarding the JewishAnswerspost: The Importance of the First Born
    Posted on: 2005-11-22 14:42:54

    Is it necessary to have a mynian during the Pydion Haben cerimony?

    Thank you for your question. No, it is not necessary to have a Minyan at
    a Pidyon HaBen ceremony.

    Comment by ATR — December 26, 2005 @ 10:22 pm

We respond to every follow-up question submitted, but only publish selected ones. In order to be considered for publication, questions must be on-topic, polite, and address ideas rather than personalities.


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