Dear Rabbi Lazer,
I don't know if you remember me, but I am one of members of Reverend Philip Banda's community in South Africa. I'll never forget the blessing you gave me. My question is this: is a non-Jew allowed to give the Pidyon Nefesh you always speak about? Would it be effective? We hope to see you soon again. In case you haven't seen, I'm enclosing a clip that someone took when you were here with us - it really strengthened our faith.
Thank you in sincerity, Robert Ogabu, Johannesburg
I'm delighted to hear from you. I presented your question to Rabbi Shalom Arush directly and he answered with a quote from the Talmud that says Judgment Day on Rosh Hashana is a day of judgment for all of mankind. As each person, Jews and non-Jews, are on trial, we all need a good lawyer to intervene on our behalf. That's where pidyon nefesh comes in. Pidyon Nefesh is literally a “liberation for the spirit,” where the donated sum of money is used by the righteous sage who performs the pidyon nefesh is used for a lofty purpose that would best invoke Divine compassion for the donator. In you choose to Donate to Emuna Outreach, Rav Shalom Arush will gladly do the pidyon for you; he uses the money for spreading emuna around the world, which brings our emuna books, CDs, and ourselves to such faraway places as China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and South Africa, as well as the West. Although I am Rav Shalom's emissary to the English-speaking world, we have other rabbis roaming the globe in places that speak Russian, German, French and Spanish. As Rav Shalom wrote in his own handwriting, this is the only chance to create peace among nations. Thank you so much for the clip (see below), and I hope to see you again soon.
Warmest regards and blessings, Lazer Brody