web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Q & A: A Sefirah Dilemma (Part III)


QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Share Button

The Chidushim u’Berurim on Shas (37) maintains that the days a ger counted before his conversion do not combine with the days he counts afterward. He bases his decision on the Gemara (Yebamot 22a) that considers a convert similar to a child who has just been born. In effect, the convert is a new person. Thus, actions he performed before his conversion are separate from those he performs afterwards.

Although the Gemara we quoted above regarding peru u’revu seems to indicate that actions taken before conversion affect one’s mitzvah obligations after conversion, that Gemara might represent an exception. As R’ Yochanan states, the ger has fulfilled peru u’revu because his children, as a matter of empirical reality, are here on this earth. The mitzvah of peru u’revu was given to Adam so as to populate the world. Since the ger’s children are alive, he has fulfilled the miztvah. In general, though, a ger is considered a newborn child and the days of omer he counted before his conversion cannot combine with the days he counts afterward to constitute “sheva shabbatot temimot.”

In Responsa Chesed Le’Avraham (Vol. 2:56), we find a conclusion to the contrary. There we are told that we should only be concerned that “sheva shabbatot temimot” are lacking when one did not count on those days on which one was obligated to do so. However, in the case of a ger, since his obligation only starts after he converts, there is no issue.

Nevertheless, we follow the majority opinion (Birkei Yosef 120; Responsa Pri Haaretz Vol. 3:11; Shalmei Tzibbur p. 298; Aruch Hashulchan, Orach Chayyim 489:15). A ger who converts in the middle of sefirah starts counting afterward without a blessing.

Tractate Berachot (15a) states that saying a berachah before fulfilling a mitzvah is not crucial to the mitzvah’s performance. In other words, one has fulfilled the mitzvah even without saying a berachah. Thus, a person who counts sefirat ha’omer without a berachah has still fulfilled the mitzvah. Of course, if someone is in shul for Ma’ariv, he should listen to the chazan or rav recite the blessing. By answering “amen,” he will also fulfill the rabbinical requirement of saying a blessing by the principle of “shome’a ke’oneh.”

All of the above opinions and considerations apply to an individual’s personal mitzvah to count the omer. However, the rules are different if one is serving as chazzan. Since there might be individuals in the congregation who are relying on the chazan to fulfill their obligation, it would not be proper for him to recite the blessing on their behalf.

As far as an ordinary Jew is concerned, unless there is definite reason to suspect that he has not counted the omer until now, he has a chezkat kashrut – a presumption of integrity regarding his mitzvah observance – and may count on behalf of the congregation with a blessing. (See Kiddushin 49b and Rambam, Hilchot Ishut 8:5.)

May it be His will that in the merit of our counting the sefirah, our dreams of redemption which we anticipate as we approach the festival of Shavuot be fulfilled speedily in our days.

Share Button

About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Q & A: A Sefirah Dilemma (Part III)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
BDS targets Zabar's; Carole Zabar promotes BDS proponents.
All in the Family: BDS Protests Zabars; Carole Zabar Promotes BDS
Latest Judaism Stories
Reiss-041814-King

Amazingly, each and every blade was green and moist as if it was just freshly cut.

PTI-041814

All the commentaries ask why Hashem focuses on the Exodus as opposed to saying, “I am Hashem who created the entire world.”

Leff-041814

Someone who focuses only on the bones of the Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

“Who is wise? One who learns from each person” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

In Judaism, to be without questions is a sign not of faith, but of lack of depth.

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

Reckoning Time
‘Three Festivals, Even Out Of Order’
(Beizah 19b)

Two husbands were there to instruct us in Texas hold ‘em – and we needed them.

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

According to the Rambam, the k’nas applies to any chametz on Pesach with which one could, in theory, transgress the aveirah – even if no transgression actually occurred.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
Questions-Answers-logo

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

Why does the Jewish leap year always consist of two Adars? Why specifically Adar?

Menachem
(Via E-Mail)

Why does the Jewish leap year always consist of two Adars? Why specifically Adar?

Menachem
(Via E-Mail)

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-a-sefirah-dilemma-part-iii/2013/05/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: