Counting with a Minyan-Counting before Maariv

May one count before Maariv?[1]

It is permitted to count the Sefira before Maariv [after nightfall]. This applies even on Motzei Shabbos, when one extends the Shabbos into the night [until Maariv].[2] Nevertheless it is proper to precede the Davening of Maariv to the counting of the Omer.[3]


Is it proper to count the Omer together with a Minyan?[4]

Yes. It is proper to count the Sefira together with the Minyan. [Thus one should not leave the Minyan for Maariv until after Sefira.]


If the Minyan is holding by Sefira and one has not yet begun Maariv is he to recite Sefira with the Tzibur?

Some Poskim[5] rule that one is to count Sefira together with the Minyan and then Daven Maariv, in the event that he will not be Davening with another Minyan.[6] 


[1] 489/16

[2] Admur ibid; M”A 489/7

The reason: As nevertheless it is already night and is not considered the previous day but rather the next day. [Admur ibid]

[3] Admur ibid; Chok Yaakov 489/16

The reason: As Maariv is Tadir [i.e. common] while the counting of the Omer is only on occasion, and the rule follows that a more common Mitzvah receives precedence over a less common Mitzvah. [Admur ibid]

[4] Shelah brought in Chok Yaakov 489/16 “Sefira with a Minyan”; Siddur Yaavetz “Sefira with Rov Am”; Minchas Yitzchak 9/56

[5] Minchas Yitzchak 9/56

[6] The reason: As it is proper to count the Omer with a Minyan [Poskim ibid] and one should not separate from the Tzibur. [ibid]

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