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Chapter 120:11
The Counting of the Omer

11. On the first night of Shavuos, the recitation of Ma'ariv (the evening service) is delayed until after the appearance of [three medium-size] stars. Were we to recite the prayers beforehand and accept the sanctity of the festival, we would be detracting time from the forty-nine days of the counting of the Omer, and the Torah explicitly states [Leviticus 23:15]: "You shall count seven COMPLETE weeks." (1).


(1) Once Ma'ariv for Yom Tov has been recited, it is considered Yom Tov even if it is still daytime. There is supposed to be 49 full days counted before Shavuos, and that cannot occur if one brings in Yom Tov before nightfall on the 49th day,

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