Forgot to count one full day

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Forgot to count one full day?[1]

If one forgot to count one full day of Sefira [meaning he forgot to count both at night and also the next day] it is disputed in Poskim as to whether he is still obligated in the Mitzvah of counting on the future nights.[2] Practically, the custom is to continue to count on the following nights without a blessing.[3] This applies whether one forgot to count the Sefira of the first night or whether one forgot to count the Sefira of any other night.[4] [This applies whether one was negligent in his lack of count, or it was inevitable due to illness, such as if he was in a state of unconsciousness.[5]]

 

Cases in which the count is invalid, and it is considered as if he skipped a day, and may no longer count with a blessing:

·         Said the wrong date and did not remember until the next night:[6] If one counted the wrong date and only discovered the next night, then it is considered that he did not count that day and he may thus no longer continue counting with a blessing. 

·         End of the week-counted only the weeks:[7] 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 may not continue counting with a blessing the following nights.[8]

·         Said Today is Lag Baomer:[9] One who said on the 33rd day that today is Lag Baomer and did not recount properly, may not continue to count with a blessing on the future nights.

For cases in which the count is invalid only according to some opinions-See next Halacha!

 

Q&A

Does a child who was born during Sefira continue to count with a blessing after becoming Bar Mitzvah?[10]

If the child did not miss a day prior to his Bar Mitzvah then he is to continue to count with a blessing.[11] If however, the child had missed a day prior to his Bar Mitzvah then he may not count with a blessing.[12]

 

May a convert who converted during Sefira count with a blessing?[13]

No.

 

If Moshiach arrives in middle of Sefira will we continue to count with a blessing?[14]

Yes.

 

If one knows for certain that he will miss one full day of counting, may he count until that day with a blessing?

Some Poskim[15] rule that in all cases that one knows for certain that he will miss a day of Sefira, such as if he will undergo a medical procedure which will leave him in a medically induced coma for one-two days, then he is not to count Sefira with a blessing starting from the first night of Sefira.[16] Other Poskim[17] rule he may count with a blessing until the day that he will miss arrives. Practically, based on the Rebbe’s understanding, it is permitted to count beforehand with a blessing.[18]

 

May one who missed a day say the blessing on behalf of one who has not missed a day?

Some Poskim[19] rule it is permitted to do so. Accordingly, one who missed a day can request from someone else not to say a blessing, and he will say the blessing on his behalf. Other Poskim[20] however rule it is forbidden to do so.

 

May a Rav who is the set Chazzan for Sefiras Haomer count with a blessing even if he missed a day in order to prevent a Chilul Hashem?

Some Poskim[21] rule that in such a case the Rav may follow the lenient opinion stated above, and ask one of the participants not to say a blessing, and he will say it on his behalf. Other Poskim[22] rule he may be lenient in such a case to count with a blessing even if he is not being Motzi anyone with his blessing.[23]

 

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[1] Admur 489:23-24

[2] Admur 489:23

Background:

If one forgot to count the Sefira of a day, it is disputed in Poskim as to whether one must continue to count the following nights. Some Poskim [Bahag Hilchos Menachos 137] rule that if one forgot to count one day then the Mitzvah is forfeited and he is thus not obligated at all to continue counting [even without a blessing] on the other nights. The reason for this is because the verse states that the counting must be “Temimos”, and hence once one day is lacking he has completely forfeited the Mitzvah. Other Poskim [Maharitz Geios 2:109 in name of Rav Haiy Gaon; Tosafus Menachos 66a; Hamachria; Hamanhig; Rosh Pesachim 10:41; Tur in name of Rabbeinu Yona] however rule that one is obligated to continue counting [with a blessing] on all the future nights. The reason for this is because [in their opinion] each day is a separate Mitzvah of counting, and is independent of each other. [Thus, there is no relevance if a previous day was counted or not, just as there is no relevance of yesterdays missed Tefillin performance to today’s Tefillin obligation.] [Admur ibid]

Understanding the dispute: This dispute is based on whether we consider the 49 days of Sefira as a single unit of a Mitzvah, and hence if one day is lacking the entire Mitzvah is now forfeited, or whether one considers the Mitzvah as 49 separate Mitzvos, similar to 49 separate Mitzvos of donning Tefillin each morning. Seemingly, according to the first approach that it is a single Mitzvah, a number of difficulties are raised, such as why one counts each night with a blessing, a total of 49 blessings, when in truth it’s only one Mitzvah. Likewise, one should not be allowed to count until the 49th night just in case one will miss a future night which will invalidate his Mitzvah retroactively? Rather, the explanation is as follows: All agree that there is a separate Mitzvah every night to count that night, however, there is a dispute as to whether the current day is dependent on the previous day’s count. According to the first opinion, each day is dependent on the previous day’s count in order for that days count to be Temimos. Meaning, that if one did not count day 17 then he can’t count day 18, as the number 17 is missing from the 18th count. However, the counts of the previous days, from days 1-16 remain unaffected, being that they do not include day 17 which became invalid. The second opinion however holds that the Mitzvah of each night is completely independent of each other and the count on the 17th is not required to include within it the fulfilled count of any of the previous nights. [Likkutei Sichos 1:270]

[3] Admur 489:24; Michaber 489:8; Terumos Hadeshen 37

The reason: As in a case of dispute we rule Safek Brachos Lihakel. [Admur ibid; Peri Chadash 489] Thus, one must continue to count to suspect for the second opinion stated above, although without a blessing, in order to suspect for the first opinion stated above.

Other opinions-Tradition from Baal Shem Tov: There is a tradition from the students of the Baal Shem Tov, that one may continue counting with a blessing even if he misses a night. [Otzer Hachaim Komrana Emor; See Divrei Moshe 1:30; Piskeiy Teshuvos 489:20 footnote 99; Shearim Hametzuyanim Behalacha  120:7]

[4] Admur ibid; Michaber ibid

[5] Levushei Mordechai 91; Kaf Hachaim 489:93

[6] See Admur 489:21 “As he said a lie, as today is the 4th day and he verbalized that it is the 5th day. Now, although he had in mind to say the 4th day, it is meaningless, as the Mitzvah of counting Sefira is fulfilled only with one’s mouth.”

[7] See Admur 489:6 and Halacha 7B!

[8] 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

[9] Implication of Admur ibid as explained in Halacha 8A; Sheilas Yaavetz 139; Siddur Yaavetz Halacha 11; Birkeiy Yosef 489:9 “I lean towards this opinion, however it’s good to recount without a blessing”, brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah ibid

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that if on the 33rd one said today is Lag Baomer, and forgot to recount count that day, then he may continue counting with a blessing on the coming nights. [Yabia Omer 4:43; The following Poskim rule one is Yotzei with such a count: Get Pashut ibid; Kneses Hagedola ibid as understood by Sheilas Yaavetz ibid, and Shaareiy Teshuvah ibid, and Kaf Hachaim ibid; and Piskiey Teshuvos 489:11; [however not listed by Birkeiy Yosef ibid to hold this way]

[10] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 489:25

[11] Shaareiy Teshuvah 489:4; Kesav Sofer 99; Maharam Shick 269; Minchas Chinuch 306; Aruch Hashulchan 489:15; Minchas Elazar 3:50; Kaf Hachaim 489:94; Har Tzevi 2:76; Lehoros Nasan 1:206; Kinyan Torah 4:57; Or Letziyon 1:95; Piskeiy Teshuvos 489:25; Likkutei Sichos 1:271; 38:10; 26:75; Toras Menachem 8:114 [printed in Toras Menachem 3:4-12]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule the child may not continue to count with a blessing. [Simple reading of Birkeiy Yosef ibid in name of Peri Haaretz; Chidushei Harim brought in Maharash Engel 7:112; See Avnei Nezer 539; Malbim Emor; Yabia Omer 3:28]

[12] Birkeiy Yosef as explained in Shaareiy Teshuvah ibid; Rebbe ibid; See Yabia Omer 14:20; Chelkas Yaakov 3:65

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that the child is to count with a blessing even if he missed days prior to his Bar Mitzvah. [Chesed Leavraham Tinyana 56; Maharash Engel ibid] The same would apply with a convert. [Lehoros Nasan 1:26]

[13] Likkutei Sichos 1:271; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 489:25

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that the child is to count with a blessing even if he missed days prior to his Bar Mitzvah. [Chesed Leavraham Tinyana 56; Maharash Engel ibid] According to these opinions, a convert may likewise count with a blessing. [Lehoros Nasan 1:26]

[14] Likkutei Sichos 38:10 [printed in Toras Menachem 3:4-12]

[15] Avodas Hakodesh [Chida] 7:217; See Shulchan Shlomo brought in M”B 489:3; Kaf Hachaim 489:9; Piskeiy Teshuvos 489:22 footnote 104

[16] The reason: As they understand the opinion of Bahag to rule that one requires a complete 49 days of counting for any of the counts to be valid.

[17] Yagel Yaakov 64; Rav Poalim 3:32; Betzeil Hachochma 5:45; Kinyan Torah 5:45; Shraga Hameir 6:31; Piskeiy Teshuvos 489:22 footnote 105

[18] According to the Rebbe’s explanation of the dispute in 489:23 that in truth all agree that each day is a separate Mitzvah, and missing a day only holds the future days in question, there is no worry whatsoever if one will miss a future day as it has no affect, according to any opinion, on the previous Mitzvos fulfilled. [See Likkutei Sichos 1:270]

[19] Mikraeiy Kodesh, brought in Kaf Hachaim 489:91; Mamar Mordechai 489:10; Dvar Moshe 1:30 in name of Ohel Avraham 1; Midrash Pinchas p. 31; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 489:20 footnote 94

[20] Peri Chadash 489; Beis David 267 in name of Perach Mateh Aaron; Kneses Hagedola 29; Birkeiy Yosef 489:19; Shaareiy Teshuvah 489:20; Kisei Eliyahu 489:2; Shalmei Tzibur p. 298:28; Siddur Beis Oveid 21; P”M 489 M”Z 2; Kaf Hachaim 489:91; Shevet Halevi 4

[21] Michtam Ledavid 15, brought in Birkeiy Yosef ibid and Divrei Moshe ibid; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 489:20

[22] Shevet Halevi 3:96; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 489:20

[23] The reason: One may be lenient like the majority opinion who holds a blessing is required, in order to avoid a Chillul Hashem.

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