Pidyon Nefesh by Rabbi Shalom Arush

Pidyon Nefesh is a very special and powerful prayer and blessing that has the spiritual strength of a sacrifice in the Holy Temple to atone for sin and to mitigate severe judgments. The bigger and more pious the tzaddik, the more effective the “pidyon”, which literally means “redemption”, where one’s money is literally a sacrifice for one’s body and soul. The pidyon money “redeems” the nefesh, or soul, in other words, “Pidyon Nefesh.” This is used when a major salvation is needed, such as in the case of a dangerous illness, a severe court case, or as a rescue from trouble or danger. Rebbe Nachman of Breslev says that Pidyon Nefesh is the “sweetening”, or mitigation of harsh decrees and serves as a salvation from any trouble, for the main cure and solution of sickness is the pidyon (see Likutei Moharan II:3).


The money becomes an exchange for the life of the person, since money and the nefesh are one aspect. The amount should be meaningful for the person – Rebbe Nachman was very strong not to be stingy with a pidyon. Here is a story to illustrate this idea:


Rabbi Natan of Breslev’s wife kept having miscarriages in the ninth month. Rebbe Nachman said, “For this, you need a pidyon.” Rabbi Natan arranged to donate 6 chairs to Rebbe Nachman. He ended up having 6 children. He said, “If only I had known, I would have donated 12 chairs…”


For a Pidyon to be especially effective, one should give with dedication. One cannot hope for a major salvation without giving to the limits of one’s capability. You must give something that is significant for you. It could be that someone’s $180 pidyon means more than someone else’s $1,800 pidyon! Just as in the Holy Temple, where the sacrifices went according to one’s wealth – someone with less means gave a dove, with average means a sheep or goat, and a rich man gave an ox. If the rich man tries to get away with giving a dove, in reality he did nothing – G-d knows the truth.


Moreover, the amount of the pidyon should match the need. For smaller issues $180 might suffice, but someone with an untreatable illness or other serious situation should give much more than that. For serious situations, Rabbanit Arush, tichya, recommends a minimum $1,000 pidyon, in 12 installments (enter $84 as the pidyon amount, then select Recurring Donation for 12 months). Feel free to use the installments in order to make it easier for you to give the pidyon you really need.


Remember, none of the money is kept by Rabbi Arush, Shlita – it goes right into spreading emuna, so that merit of giving charity stands for you as well! For that reason, you can use maaser money for the pidyon. Really, a pidyon is a favor done by the tzaddikim in order to help people. The one who benefits – is you!


To read miracle stories about pidyon nefesh with Rabbi Arush, click here.


Minimum donation: 613NIS /approximately $200.

To donate through a representative in our Jerusalem offices, contact, WhatsApp +972523868452, or call 1-917-722-7795. 


After your online contribution is processed, you will receive a receipt by email.  Be sure to send the receipt to along with your prayer request and your name (first and middle name and mother’s first and middle name) so that it can be added to Rav Arush’s prayer list.


Remember – Rabbi Arush can help you more if you help yourself! A pidyon is not a “quick fix” whereby you pay the Tzaddik to do your work for you. You need to strengthen your emuna, and learn about emuna, work on yourself, and try to see what area G-d is hinting to you that you need improvement.


This includes reading the appropriate books: The Garden of Emuna or The Universal Garden of Emunaif the problem relates to marriage, then read The Garden of Peace or Women’s Wisdom, if the problem is medical then read The Garden of Healing, if financial then read The Garden of Richesand if the problem relates to children then read The Garden of Education.


It will also really help you to do The Law of Thank You every day – click on the link to read all about it – it takes less than a half an hour. Click here for real stories of people who said thank you and saw miracles.


After you finish The Law of Thank You, spend another 15 minutes asking Hashem for what you need to do teshuva (repent). After all, Hashem sent this to you for a good reason, and it might just be that you need to make changes in your life, which will be good for you in this world and the Next World. “There is no suffering without sin” but there is also no suffering without a good purpose – G-d loves you! And He does not want you to have pain or suffering, so if it’s here – there’s a good reason, for which the suffering is worth it! Ask Hashem to help you figure out what it is, and what He is hinting to you that you need to change! 


Rabbi Arush prays daily for everyone who supports Chut shel Chessed and spreading emuna on a monthly basis multiple times a day, including in his personal prayers, every time he recites the Blessing after Meals, and more. Rabbi Arush has spoken multiple times about how important these prayers are, and that people who give even in larger one-time amounts truly lose out. Now, these special prayers will be yours too, if you select monthly donation on the next screen.