Category Archives: 2-The Laws of Counting the Omer

1 – The Mitzvah and its Meaning

Starting from the night of the Omer harvest, there is a mitzvah to count forty-nine days, which are seven weeks.  The Omer is harvested on the sixteenth of Nissan, which coincides with the night after the first day of Pesach.  … Continue reading

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2 – The Process of Ascension from Nationalism to Spirituality

By counting the Omer, we draw a line that continuously ascends from Pesach to Shavu’ot.  The holiday of Pesach represents Israel’s national side, for the Exodus from Egypt revealed Israel’s uniqueness, in that HaShem chose us from among all the … Continue reading

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3 – The Mechanics of Counting

Before counting the Omer, one recites the following blessing: “Blessed are you, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us regarding the counting of the Omer.”  Both the blessing and … Continue reading

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4 – The Status of the Mitzvah after the Temple’s Destruction

A fundamental question regarding the Omer count is whether the mitzvah is Biblical or Rabbinic ever since the Holy Temple was destroyed.  The verse says, You shall count for yourselves from the morrow of the “Sabbath” – from the day … Continue reading

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5 – When to Count

The Omer count begins on the night of the sixteenth of Nissan, as it says, You shall count for yourself seven weeks; from when the sickle begins [to cut] the standing crop shall you begin to count seven weeks (Devarim … Continue reading

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6 – Until When Can One Count?

One who is accustomed to praying Ma’ariv at a late hour all year round, should [nonetheless] count after his regular prayer service.  If he counts by himself at the beginning of the night, he is liable to make a mistake … Continue reading

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7 – One Who forgets to Count an Entire Day

The Rishonim debate [the nature of] the Omer count.  According to the Behag, it is one long mitzvah stretching from Pesach to Shavu’ot, as it says, Seven weeks; they shall be complete (VaYikra 23:15).  Therefore, one who forgets to count … Continue reading

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8 – When in Doubt, Continue Counting with a Blessing

One who is unsure whether he neglected to count one day may continue counting with a blessing, because we worry about the opinion that says that one cannot continue counting with a blessing only when one is certain that he … Continue reading

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9 – Women and the Omer Count

Based on the famous rule that women are exempt from all time-bound mitzvot, women are exempt from the mitzvah of counting the Omer, for it is dependant on time (see Peninei Halachah, Tefillat Nashim, chap. 3, for the logic behind … Continue reading

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10 – Specific Laws Regarding the Mitzvah of Counting

If someone asks his friend, at a time when it is permissible to count, “What is today’s Omer count?” the friend should not answer, “Today is day such-and-such in the Omer,” unless he has already counted with a blessing.  After … Continue reading

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