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Counting The Omer

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

The Daily Halacha Moment - Counting The Omer๐ŸŒพ


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โ€œAnyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-comeโ€ (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

What does one do if he made a mistake in counting or forgot to count the Omer?


Answer:

The poskim argue if the mitzvah of sefirat haโ€™omer is one long mitzvah that extends throughout the forty-nine days of the omer, or if counting each day is its own separate mitzvah. Because of this dispute among the poskim, one who forgot to count one of the days of the omer may no longer count with a berachah (Safek Berachot Lehakel ). This is only so if one also did not count the following morning; however, if one remembered the following morning and counted without a berachah (Meaning he just says the day), he may continue to count the omer with a berachah. One may always continue to count the omer with a berachah at night as long as he counted at some point during the previous day โ€” it makes no difference if he counted during the day for a few days in a row.[1]

Furthermore, One who forgot to count the omer for a full night and the following day may no longer count with a berachah.[2] However, one should still count the days he missed without a berachah so that he may complete the entire counting of fourty-nine days.[3]

If one made a mistake in counting the omer in days and weeks and did not realize his mistake until the following night, it is as if he did not count at all, and he may no longer count with a berachah. However, if he realized his mistake immediately, either in the middle of his counting or after several seconds have passed, he may count again with a berachah. Like said above if he only realized his error the next morning, he should count without a berachah, and may then continue to count with a berachah the following night.[4]

Woman should not count the Omer with a Berachah because it is a Mitzvah that has a set time and woman are not obligated in that.[5] According to Sefardic custom though, women do not count the Omer at all. The reason for this is discussed by the Mekubalim. If a woman started counting with a Berachah she should stop immediately. [6]


Adapted From Rabbi Yonatan Nacson's "Laws Of The Holidays"


Sources:

[1]. Shulchan Aruch HaRav ยง22; Mishnah Berurah ยง38; Mekabtziel, Tzav 1:11; Kaf HaChayim ยง52; Chazon Ovadia, Yom Tov, p. 238; Yabia Omer, vol. 1, Y.D. 21:1; ibid., vol. 3, 28; ibid., vol. 4, 43:7.

[2]. Shulchan Aruch ยง8.

[3]. Biur Halachah, โ€œSofer BeShaar Yamimโ€; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 3, 16:7. Mekabtziel, Tzav 1:11 adds that even if one missed a day, he may technically still fulfill the recitation of the berachah by asking someone else to have him in mind, answering amen to his berachah, and then counting the omer.

[4]. Taz ยง10; Kaf HaChayim ยง87 & 96; Mishnah Berurah ยง35; Chazon Ovadia, Yom Tov, p. 250.

[5] Mishnah Berurah ยง3; Kaf HaChayim ยง9

[6] Halichot Bat Yisrael 24:3 said in the name of Harav Bentzion Abba Shaul Zatzal.


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