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Kauai - Hawaii’s First Ever 'Peter Chamor' Takes Place Over Succos (video)

Published on: November 2, 2011 01:14 PM
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Rabbi Michoel Goldman (black hat and suit) conducting the Peter Chamor of Richer (Zevulun) Seigel (white yarmulka). The man in blue shirt (L) is The Kohen. Photo: Jim RosenRabbi Michoel Goldman (black hat and suit) conducting the Peter Chamor of Richer (Zevulun) Seigel (white yarmulka). The man in blue shirt (L) is The Kohen. Photo: Jim Rosen

Kauai, Hawaii - The infrequently performed mitzvah of Peter Chamor, redemption of a first born donkey, was performed for the first known time in Hawaii over Chol Hamoed Succos, as a retired Alaskan ship captain who now owns a Kauai Esrog orchard, had the opportunity to perform this rare mitzvah.

Richard Seigel purchased a donkey several years ago and following the birth of a firstborn male donkey, began to put together all the necessary components of this seldom performed mitzvah.  Contacting Rabbi Michoel Goldman, the Chabad Shaliach to Kauai, the two began combing the surrounding Hawaiian islands for a Kohein to redeem the baby donkey, named Yissachar, in honor of Shevet Yissachar, which is compared to a donkey in Birkos Yaakov.  The pair finally located Liad Goldman, who recently moved from New York to Honolulu.

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Prior to the ceremony, which took place on the fourth day of Chol Hamoed Succos, Rabbi Goldman explained the mitzvah of Peter Chamor, which dates back to the time of yetzias mitrayim:  as a reward to the donkey for the mitzvah of helping Bnei Yisroel carry their belongings out of Mitzrayim, the donkey is rewarded with a mitzvah of its own and is the only non kosher animal whose first born is considered to be sacred.

While normally the donkey is adorned with jewelry to commemorate the jewels that were carried out of Mitzrayim, Seigel’s donkey was also adorned with customary Hawaiian flower leis.  The five minute ceremony, in which Seigel gave Goldman a sheep in return for the baby donkey, was followed by a festive meal in the Seigel’s Succah.

“I have never done a Peter Chamor before,” Rabbi Goldman told VIN News.  “Most kohanim never perform this ceremony in their lifetime and most Rabbonim have never facilitated it either.  Everyone was so excited to attend this ceremony.  Local Jews who rarely participate in Shul came due to the uniqueness of the event.  It felt like an ancient ritual but was very enjoyable and made a random verse in the Torah really come to life.”

While the sheep, which was purchased at a local farm for $100, was Goldman’s to keep, he had no use for it and sold it back to Seigel for $1.

Showing Liad HaKohen the scripture, the Biblical source for the Mitzvah (photo courtesy: Jim Rosen) Showing Liad HaKohen the scripture, the Biblical source for the Mitzvah (photo courtesy: Jim Rosen)

 


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Read Comments (13)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 02, 2011 at 01:26 PM Aryeh Says:

No use for the sheep!? How about a chol ha moed luau!?

2

 Nov 02, 2011 at 01:44 PM shalomp Says:

Kinyan on the שה!?! Was that good enough?

4

 Nov 02, 2011 at 02:00 PM Proud-2-B-Orthodox Says:

Reply to #2  
shalomp Says:

Kinyan on the שה!?! Was that good enough?

I'm not a "posek", but the answer according to all of the "dayos" I know of is a resounding NO.

However I am not familiar with the customs of Chabad (the Rabbi who oversaw the "ceremony"). It could be according to Chabad it is a good "kinyan".

5

 Nov 02, 2011 at 02:14 PM Boris Says:

Before you talk about being competent, learn how to spell it!

6

 Nov 02, 2011 at 02:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Very Interesting!

7

 Nov 02, 2011 at 02:51 PM ilovehashem Says:

wow how beautiful what a zchus that he has to doing this speacul mitzvah...

8

 Nov 02, 2011 at 02:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Proud-2-B-Orthodox Says:

I'm not a "posek", but the answer according to all of the "dayos" I know of is a resounding NO.

However I am not familiar with the customs of Chabad (the Rabbi who oversaw the "ceremony"). It could be according to Chabad it is a good "kinyan".

Apparently, not being a "posek" makes you not an expert on other members of your religion even those who hold differently than you. FYI, some very well respected poskim are Chabad.
According to what you write, I guess you hold Chabad as a different religion altogether, or not even religious. Maybe you should enlighten yourself to other branches of the Orthodox Judaism which you claim to be so proud to be of.

9

 Nov 02, 2011 at 03:07 PM Anonymous Says:

To #3- Have you ever been to Hawaii? Chabad has established a presence on Oahu going back over 24 years?

10

 Nov 02, 2011 at 03:25 PM Aryeh Says:

Look at the size of those esrogs!

11

 Nov 02, 2011 at 05:08 PM victorg Says:

Probably should add- "No animals have been harmed in the performance of this mitzva"

Otherwise we create fodder for the PETA folks!

12

 Nov 02, 2011 at 06:38 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Aryeh Says:

Look at the size of those esrogs!

Shouldn't the plural of etrog be etrogim , not etrogs?

13

 Nov 03, 2011 at 02:11 AM LAGIRL Says:

Reply to #5  
Boris Says:

Before you talk about being competent, learn how to spell it!

I agree. What an idiotic comment. Has this person ever been to Kauai? There are several Rabbi's living in Hawaii bringing yiddishkeit to all of the many Jews who live and visit there.

14

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