Pidyon Haben
Pidyon Haben Flash 90

Behadrey Haredim reports on an interesting question that has been presented to some of the greatest experts in Jewish law of the generation: Should a pidyon haben (redemption of the firstborn son) be performed for Joe Biden's new-born grandson?

Biden's son, Hunter, is married to a Jewish woman, and therefore his children are Jewish according to Jewish law. Hunter's wife's family returned to Torah observance later in life, after their children were grown, but the daughter unfortunately did not.

This year, the couple had a son, raising the question of when the child should be redeemed. The debate goes back centuries, with two Torah giants (the Shach and the Taz) disagreeing on whether a) the Jewish grandfather (or another Jewish adult) should redeem the child, as there is no father to do so (in this case, because the father is not Jewish) or b) the child should redeem himself when he comes of age (as a bar mitzvah).

Hunter's religious father-in-law apparently already sought halakhic guidance on the question, and was told that he should wait and that the child will redeem himself when he reaches bar mitzvah age.

However, given that the pidyon haben is considered to be a form of spiritual protection, and with the tense security situation now around the Biden family, the question has been raised again as to whether the pidyon should be performed by the grandfather (or another Jewish adult) after all.