From the Rav’s Desk: Asked if today is this and this day of Sefira-is he Yotzei?

Question: [Sunday, 14th Iyar, 5782]

An individual called me at night and asked me if today is the 25th night of counting and I answered him that it was, but told him that I was unsure if he can now say a blessing being that he already said the correct date. What is the law?


He is not Yotzei with the count that he mentioned in his question, and is thus to repeat the count with a blessing.



The Poskim conclude, that the individual who asked you the question with stating the correct date does not fulfill his obligation with the count mentioned in his question being that he did not have any intent to fulfill his obligation with the question. On the contrary, from the question itself it is implicitly implied that he does not desire to currently fulfill his obligation, but rather to hear the answer and then fulfill his obligation. So is explicitly ruled in the Poskim and Admur regarding one who asked what day of Sefira it was to which the person replied the correct count of the Sefira. Admur rules in such a case that although the answerer may no longer count the Sefira with a blessing, the asker may still count with a blessing, as “at the time of the hearing of this reply, the questioner had intent to repeat the counting for himself to fulfill the Mitzvah, as that is precisely the motivation behind his query and subsequent hearing of the answer. Thus, in conclusion it is considered that he explicitly had in mind to not fulfill his obligation with the hearing of the counting of the answerer. This is in contrast to the person who was asked and replied and did not have explicit intent at the time of his reply that he desires to repeat the count later on afterwards. Thus, although in truth, subconsciously, the answerer did want to repeat the count, nevertheless since he did not have this explicitly on his conscious mind at that time, he has therefore fulfilled his obligation according to those who rule that Mitzvos don’t need intent.”

This is aside for the fact that in the above case the questioner did not say the words, “Today is such and such day” but rather said “is today” which is not considered a count, as the word “today” is integral for one to fulfill his obligation, and when one says it in a question form it is as if the word was not recited. This is also aside to the fact, as writes the Zechor Leavraham, that it is not the common way to count in a question form. Accordingly, not only does the questioner not fulfill his obligation with such a count but even the answerer who heard the question also does not fulfill his obligation.

Sources: Zechor Leavraham Ayin; Kaf Hachaim 489:61; Orchos Chaim 489:11; Daas Torah 489; Piskeiy Teshuvos 489:14; See regarding that the questioner never fulfills his obligation: Admur 489:14; Kaf Hachaim 489:58; See regarding that the word today is an integral part of the count: Admur 489:7 and 14; Taz 489:7; M”A 489:9; Mamar Mordechai 489:6; Shalmei Tzibur p. 296; Derech Hachaim 9; M”B 489:20; See Kaf Hachaim 489:53

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