International Dateline

What is the law if one crossed the international dateline and went back or forward a weekday?[1]

Example 1-Traveled from California To Australia: One traveled from California to Australia on Sunday night, the 15th day of Omer, on a 11:00 PM flight. After 16 hours of flight travel, he arrived in Australia at 3:00 PM Monday California time. However, in Australia, the current time is 9:00 AM Tuesday, and is the 16th day of Omer! [The time difference between California and Australia is approximately 17 hours, with Australia being 17 hours ahead.] When Maariv of Tuesday night arrives, what day of Omer is the traveler to count, the 17th, like Australia, or the 16th like California?

Example 2-Traveled from Australia to California: One traveled from Australia to California on Monday night, the 15 day of Omer, on a 8:00 PM flight. After 16 hours of flight travel he arrived in California at 12:00 PM Tuesday Australia time. However, in California, the current time is 7:00 PM Monday, and is the 15th day of Omer! [The time difference between California and Australia is about 17 hours, with Australia being 17 hours ahead.] For Maariv of Monday night, what day of Omer is the traveler to count, is he to repeat the 15th like California, or is he to count the 16th like Australia?

Example 1: Some Poskim[2] rule one is to count the 16th day without a blessing and then count the 17th with a blessing, just like Australia. On every subsequent night he only counts like Australia. Others[3] rule he is to count the 17th, like Australia, without a blessing. So too, on each subsequent night, he is to count without a blessing, being he missed the 16th day of count. The Rebbe[4] rules that one is to hear the blessing from another person and then count the 16th, which is his main count, and then some time later count the 17th without a blessing. The same applies for each subsequent night, with his California count being his main number of count. In such a case, this traveler is to celebrate Shavuos on the 50th day of his main count, and hence he begins to celebrate Shavuos one day later than the inhabitants of Australia.[5] In such a case, he does not recite the words “Zeman Matan Toraseinu” in Shemoneh Esrei.[6] 

Example 2: Some Poskim[7] rule he is to recount the 15th day without a blessing and then on every subsequent night he counts with a blessing just like California. The Rebbe[8] rules that one is to hear the blessing from another person and then count the 16th, which is his main count, and then sometime later count the 15th without a blessing. The same applies for each subsequent night, with his Australia count being his main number of count. In such a case, this traveler is to celebrate Shavuos on the 50th day of his main count, and hence he begins to celebrate Shavuos one day earlier than the inhabitants of California.[9] In such a case, he does not recite “Zeman Matan Toraseinu” in Shemoneh Esrei.[10] 

Avoiding travel: According to all opinions, one is to initially avid traveling during the period of Sefira in a flight pattern that will add or subtract from him a day of Sefira.

Did not cross dateline but diminished or added hours:[11] One who traveled to a western or eastern time zone, and hence shortened or lengthened his day, is to count Sefira with a blessing when nighttime arrives in his destination, irrelevant of whether he had more or less than 24 hours in his previous day’s count.

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[1] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 489/6; Sichas and letters of the Rebbe printed in Shulchan Menachem 3/18-28

[2] Mishneh Halachos 10/121

[3] Betzel Hachahmah 5/96-97; Beir Moshe 7 Elektri 90

[4] Shulchan Menachem ibid; Igros Kodesh 17/358

[5] Shulchan Menachem ibid; Likkutei Sichos 3/997; See Kinyan Torah 5/46

[6] Likkutei Sichos 3/997

[7] Betzel Hachahmah 5/96-97; Beir Moshe 7 Elektri 90

[8] Shulchan Menachem ibid; Igros Kodesh 17/358

[9] Shulchan Menachem ibid

[10] Likkutei Sichos 3/997

[11] Beir Moshe 7 Elektri 90; Kinyan Torah 5/46; See Mikraeiy Kodesh Pesach 2/63

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