Pidyon Nefesh by Rabbanit Esther Abta
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. 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).