Pidyon Nefesh: (lit. “redemption of the soul”); note, accompanied by donation for charity, in which the writer requests his Rabbi to intercede in prayer on behalf of himself or of another person named therein.
Pidyon Nefesh in Kever Rachel
The Power of Pidyon
Pidyon Nefesh is a very special and powerful prayer and blessing that has the spiritual strength of a sacrifice in the Bet Hamikdash 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).
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. Rabbi Arush suggests to make the pidyon nefesh donation, $180/family.
The Kever Rachel Yeshiva, has been conducting a weekly “pideyon nefesh” (soul redemption) in accordance with Kabalistic teachings. It is a well-documented practice, mentioned in Kabbalistic works that one of the greatest ways to nullify harsh decrees and gain greater “mazal” (fortune) for fertility, health, livelihood, marriage and general success is to conduct a “pideyon nefesh.” The advantage of this method of spiritual healing is that it is not necessarily targeted at a specific difficulty but affects one’s entire body from head to toe. There were people who conducted a “pideyon nefesh” to correct a certain condition and later reported that it also corrected other even more difficult conditions.