Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 120:3
The Counting of the Omer

3. When a person is asked by a colleague after sunset: "Which [day of the omer] is counted tonight?" he should reply: "Yesterday, we counted such and such." This is because if he would say to him: "tonight is such and such," [the person answering the question] would not be permitted to recite a blessing later when he actually counts [the omer] (1).

FOOTNOTES:

(1) The period between sunset and the appearance of three medium-size stars is called "bein hashmashos," during which there is a doubt as to whether it is halachically night or day. due to our inability to determine the precise moment that "night" begins. For Biblical mitzvos, we are stringent, but for rabbinical mitzvos we are lenient regarding this period. Therefore, when it comes to keeping Shabbos, we consider "bein hashmashos to be night, and thus from sunset onwards, we refrain from performing activities prohibited on Shabbos. However, according to the majority of authorities, the counting of the omer nowadays, is only a rabbinical obligation (because there is no Beit Hamikdash, and hence, no omer offering); therefore, we are lenient, and consider someone who counted during "bein hashmashos" to have fulfilled his obligation (that is, we consider the period to be "night" for the purposes of counting the omer).

It is for this reason that the person who answers the question after sunset by saying "tonight is such and such", has fulfilled his obligation of counting, and cannot say a blessing when he counts again after the appearance of three stars. However, it is not correct to place oneself into a situation of doubt, and therefore, one should count after the appearance of three stars, when it is definitely considered "night" (See Shulchan Aruch 489:2 and Mishna Berura there).

In the case discussed in today's halacha, if one just answered the person by saying the number of the day, without saying "TONIGHT IS..." OR "TODAY IS...", he has not fulfilled his obligation, and may count again later with a blessing. Also, if it is past the sixth day, when one has to mention the number of weeks as well as the number of days, one has not fulfilled one's obligation just by saying the number of the day, without the number of weeks (Mishna Berura 489:20-22).

Another issue involved here is whether or not one requires intent to fulfill one's obligation, at the time that one is performing a mitzva ("Mitzvos tzrichos kavana"). Although we rule that one must have intent to fulfill one's obligation, in order for one's performance of a mitzva to count, when it comes to our case, we do not permit the person who said "today is such and such," to count again with a blessing, even though he didn't have intent to fulfill his obligation when he answered his friend's question; this is because when it comes to whether or not to recite a blessing, we are stringent and take into account the opinion which states that one does not need intent to fulfill one's obligation when performing a mitzvah (ibid).

Back  Paragraph 2  Table of Contents  Paragraph 4 Next 

Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2002 Project Genesis, Inc.

 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON KEDOSHIM AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

Significance of the Omer
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

Identical but Different
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Everyday Holiness
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

ArtScroll

The Senior Partner
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5767

The Value of Reverence
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5764

Beyond Common (In)Cense
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

> Lag B'Omer
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

In Pursuit Of Holiness
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

It's None of Your Business
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Separate and Pure
Shlomo Katz - 5759

From the Inside Out
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5761

Orlah - No Shortcuts?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Understand the Warning
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Orlah: Spiritual Barriers
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

Sefiras HaOmer and Rabbi Akiva
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

Holiness - Served Fresh
Shlomo Katz - 5764



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information