Counting the days and the weeks

This Halacha is an excerpt from our Sefer

Buy me here or on Amazon.com

 

Counting the days and the weeks?[1]

The Law:

One is Biblically obligated to count both the days and the weeks.[2]

At the end of each week:[3] According to all opinions, one is Biblically required to count both the days and the weeks at the end of each of the seven weeks [i.e. 14 days which is two weeks], and if he did not do so he does not fulfill his Biblical obligation. [However, according to some opinions, he does fulfill the Rabbinical obligation today in times of exile, if he counted the days and not the weeks, as will be explained in B.]

The days in-between the weeks:[4] However, regarding the days in between, such as days 8-13, including 13, and days 15-20, and the days in-between the other weeks, a dispute is recorded: Some Poskim[5] rule one is only obligated to count the days and the weeks at the end of each week [i.e. 14 days which is two weeks], however during the days in between one is only required to count the days and not the weeks. Thus, for example on the 8th day one says “Today is 8 days” and he does not need to also say “1 week and 1 day”. Other Poskim[6] however rule on the contrary, that during the days in between one is only required to count the weeks and not the days, and hence on the 8th day one is to only say “Today is one week and one day” and on the 15th day he is to say only “Today is two weeks and 1 day”. Other Poskim[7] however rule that every day of the count one must count the amount of days, and also the amount of weeks and remaining days. Thus, on the 8th day one must say 8 days, and 2 weeks and 1 day, and so on and so forth for every day. Practically, the widespread custom amongst all Jews is like the latter opinion to always count both the days and the weeks [with the remaining days] even in the days in-between the weeks.[8] One may not divert from this custom.[9]

 

Bedieved-If one did not count both the days and weeks:[10]

Middle days:[11] If one did not count both the days and the weeks, and rather counted only the days or only the weeks, then if this occurred during the middle days, in-between the weeks, one does not need to repeat the counting.[12]

End of the week-counted only the weeks:[13] If at the end of the weeks, such as on the 7th or 14th day, he counted only the weeks and not the days, he does not fulfill his obligation, and he must repeat the counting [with a blessing[14]].[15] [If one did not do so, he may not continue counting with a blessing the following nights.[16]]

End of the week-counted only the days: If at the end of the weeks, such as on the 7th or 14th day, he counted only the days and not the weeks [i.e. Today is 14 days of the Omer], then it is disputed as to whether he has fulfilled his obligation.[17] Practically, one is to suspect for the stringent opinion and recount without a blessing.[18] [If one did not do so, he may nevertheless continue counting with a blessing the following nights.[19]]

 

 

Summary:

One is to count both the days, and the weeks and remaining days, on every single night of the count. If one did not do so then he fulfills his obligation, with exception to the weekends [i.e. day 7, day 14 etc] in which case one is to repeat the counting with a blessing if he did not count the days, and is to repeat the counting without a blessing if he did not count the weeks.

 

Q&A

What is the law if one made a mistake in either the weeks or days, but said one of them correctly?[20]

If one made a mistake and said the wrong number calculation of week or days, then it is considered as if he did not mention at all the mistaken part, and follows the laws stated above regarding one who only counted weeks or days.[21] [Thus, for example, if on the 15th day he said “Today is 14 days, which is two weeks and two days to the Omer”, he fulfills his obligation. If, however, on the 14th day he said “Today is 15 days, which is two weeks of the Omer” he does not fulfill his obligation.]

 

_______________________________________________________________________________

[1] Admur 489:5; Michaber 489:1; Menachos 66a; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 489:9

[2] The source: As the verse states “Count 50 days” meaning until the 50th day, and the verse [also] states “Seven weeks count for yourself”, thus how does one fulfill both requirements of counting the weeks and the days? This is fulfilled as follows: Upon the arrival of the seventh day of the count one is to say “Today is the 7th day which is one week”. Upon the 14th day arriving one is to say “Today is the 14th day which is two weeks” and so on and so forth for the end of each of the two weeks. [Admur ibid; Yireim 261; Ravaya 526; Ran Pesachim]

[3] Admur ibid as explained in previous footnote

[4] Admur 489:6

[5] First opinion in Admur 489:6; opinion in Ravayah ibid; Baal Hamor; Ran; brought in Tur

[6] Second opinion in Admur ibid; Yireim 261 in name of Rabbeinu Efraim; Ravayah; brought in Tur

[7] Third opinion in Admur ibid; Michaber 489:1; Rosh 24:13; opinion brought in Yireim ibid and Ran ibid

[8] Admur ibid; Tur ibid; Yireim ibid; Rosh ibid; Ran ibid

[9] Admur ibid

[10] Admur 489:6

[11] Admur ibid “If one counted like one of the first two countings [i.e. first two opinions] during one of the middle days, he is Yotzei”; M”A 489:4; Chok Yaakov 489:8; Kneses Hagedola 489; See P”M 489 A”A 4; See M”B 489:9 and Shaar Hatziyon 489:11

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is proper to repeat the count without a blessing in all cases. [P”M 489 A”A 4 and M”Z 7; M”B 489:7; Kaf Hachaim 489:23] Although, if he forgot and did not recount, he may continue counting the other nights with a blessing. [M”B ibid and 489:38; The M”B ibid seemingly learns that this matter is an equal doubt, and hence he requires the repetition of the count, and only allows counting with a blessing the next days due to a Sfek Sfeika. However, according to Admur and Poskim ibid we completely rule like the lenient side of each opinion, and even that same day he is not required to repeat.]

[12] The reason: As today the counting is only Rabbinically required, [and we are thus lenient in case of dispute]. [Admur ibid]

[13] Admur ibid; Chok Yaakov 489:8 “It is possible he was not Yotzei”; Eliyahu Zuta 489:2; Peri Chadash 489:1; Maharsh Levi 5; Or Zarua, in name of Rabbeinu Yerucham, brought in Kaf Hachaim 489:23 “It is possible he was not Yotzei”; M”B 489:7 “According to everyone he has not fulfilled the Mitzvah”; Shaar Hatziyon 489:11 that so rules Yireim, Shibulei Haleket, and that so is explanation of M”A 489:4; [However see Biur Halacha 489:8 “Yispor” who debates this matter and writes that some Poskim rule he is Yotzei, and perhaps this is the opinion of the Taz]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one fulfills his obligation even if he only mentioned the weeks. [Possible understanding of M”A 489:4, and so learns Machatzis Hashekel ibid; Machatzis Hashekel on M”A 489:4 that so is opinion of Ravaya [however see Kaf Hachaim 489:23 who quotes Ravaya differently]; Biur Halacha 489:8 “Yispor” that so is ruling of some Poskim and so is possible understanding of Taz 489; See P”M ibid; Kaf Hachaim ibid]

[14] Implication of Admur and Poskim ibid, as he has not fulfilled his obligation at all; Option in Biur Halacha 489:8 “Yispor”; Piskeiy Teshuvos 489:9 footnote 42 and 44

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one is to repeat the count without a blessing, as Safek Brachos Lihakel. [P”M 489 A”A 4; Kaf Hachaim 489:23; See Biur Halacha and Poskim in next footnote]

Other opinions in Admur: Some Poskim understand in the opinion of Admur ibid and the Chayeh Adam 131:1 that it is a dispute if he fulfills his obligation, and he is hence to repeat the count without a blessing. [Kaf Hachaim 489:23] Vetzaruch Iyun Gadol on his understanding, as it is clearly negated from the wording of Admur ibid-see there! [Olas Reiyah 43; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 489:9 footnote 41]

[15] The reason: As the main aspect of the counting are the days, as with counting the number days it is possible to count all 49 days. However, when counting the weeks without any mention of days it is only possible to count the days which are the end of the weeks. [Admur ibid]

[16] Pashut, as everyone agrees that the end weeks must have a day counted! See Biur Halacha 489:8 “Yispor” that so is one possible understanding of Taz, however see there that he offers an alternative understanding of the Taz and he concludes with a Tzaruch Iyun Lemaaseh. However, see Piskeiy Teshuvos 489:9 footnote 42 who concludes one may continue counting with a blessing, as one can join the opinion of the Kaf Hachaim ibid and the opinion of the Baal Shem Tov who holds one may always count with a blessing even if he missed a day

[17] If one counted only the days and not the weeks then some Poskim rule [Kneses Hagedola 489; M”A 489:4; M”B 489:7] one is not required to repeat the count, as in today’s times the count is only in memory of the original Mitzvah, and hence since he counted the days he fulfills his obligation. Other Poskim [Peri Chadash 489:1; Maharsh Levi 5] however rule that even if one only counted the days he must repeat the counting, as whenever the Sages enact an institution they apply the Biblical bylaws to it. [Admur ibid]

[18] Admur ibid; Olas Shabbos 489:1; Beir Heiytiv 489:6

[19] M”B 489:38; Biur Halacha 489:9 “Yispor”; See Halacha 22

[20] Shoel Umeishiv Mahdurah Daled 3:127; Kinyan Torah 3:105; Mishneh Halachos 8:192; Shraga Hameir 4:62; Piskeiy Teshuvos 489:9

[21] The novelty here is that we do not disqualify the entire count due to the mistaken section. [ibid]

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?