web analytics
November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Q & A: Sefirat HaOmer – When To Start Counting (Part II)

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)

            Summary of our response up to this point: The Kesef Mishnah essentially asks your question. Since the cutting of the omer is a weekday activity, how can we start counting sefirah – which commemorates the omer – on a holiday? Aren’t we thereby demeaning the holiday? It is because of this very logic that we do not say “leishev basukkah” on Shemini Atzeret. If we did, we would be demeaning the day by implying that it is not Shemini Ateret but rather Chol HaMoed Sukkot.

The Kesef Mishneh explains, however, that there is a difference between the two cases. On Shemini Atzeret we would be contradicting ourselves if in the very same Kiddush we said both “yom Shemini Atzeret hachag hazeh” and “leishev basukkah” (since leishev basukah implies that the day is really Sukkot, not Shemini Atzeret). There is no similar problem in regards to counting the omer.

Furthermore, we have a set calendar today. Therefore, we know that the second evening of Pesach is the 16th of Nissan, and it is on the 16th of Nissan that the Torah commands us to start counting sefirah.

* * * * *

As simple as the Kesef Mishneh’s second answer to our question seems, the Chatam Sofer (Yoreh De’ah, conclusion of Responsa 250) notes that if a fixed calendar settled all matters, we would recite Havdalah between the first and second days on Yom Tov. We don’t, however, because of the contradiction it would present. Saying Havdalah would signify the end of Yom Tov while making Kiddush that night would signify the beginning of Yom Tov. We see, therefore, that having a fixed calendar does not determine all our actions on Yom Tov in chutz la’aretz.

The Chatam Sofer concludes that only the first answer of the Kesef Mishneh is satisfactory.

Regarding the Kesef Mishneh’s second answer, the Chatam Sofer, interestingly, does not ask why – according to the Kesef Mishneh – we don’t recite Havdalah in the Amidah of Ma’ariv on the second evening of the holiday. This would not present a contradiction as we do recite Havdalah when the first day of the holiday is Shabbat.

Rav Zvi Cohen, whom we quoted last week, alludes to this question when he cites the Rabad (Temim De’im, siman 245, Glosses on Razeh – R. Zerachya b. Yitzhak HaLevi) who asks a question similar to that of the Kesef Mishneh. In answering it, he mentions the rule that “after you have already sanctified something (asito kodesh), you may not subsequently make it mundane (chol).” The converse, however, is not true. After a person has made something chol, we do not say that he may not subsequently make it kodesh, as kedushah always follows chol. (This only further strengthens our question on the Chatam Sofer since Havdalah precedes kedushat hayom in the Amidah.)

Rav Cohen cites the Sha’ar Yissachar (Ma’amar Zeman Cherutenu, also found in Nimukei Orach Chayim 489:1), who explains the Rabad’s view as follows: “All is fine and well when our discussion concerns Kiddush on Shemini Atzeret when a person recites ‘mekaddesh Yisrael veha’zemanim – who has sanctified Israel and the festivals’ – i.e., since he sanctified the festival, he shouldn’t subsequently make it chol by saying ‘leishev basukkah’ – which indicates that the day is still Chol HaMoed Sukkot.

“However, regarding sefirat ha’omer, after a person has ‘made it chol’ – i.e., he counted sefirat ha’omer, which signifies that it is already the 16th of Nissan [which is Chol HaMoed] – he may now sanctify the day by davening Ma’ariv.”

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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Q & A: Sefirat HaOmer – When To Start Counting (Part II)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz delivers lecture.
IDF Chief Rabbi: Nothing is Holy to Muslims on Temple Mount except Al Aqsa
Latest Judaism Stories
Parsha-Perspectives-NEW

A person who truly feels that everything is a blessing from G-d will count his blessings and realize just how much he has.

The Story of Jacob and Esau (2010) 11 x 19, bronze relief by Lynda Caspe. Courtesy Derfner Judaica Museum – Hebrew Home at Riverdale

Yaacov returns the stolen blessing of material wealth and physical might to Esav

Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

The Jew, from the perspective of the name Yaakov, is dependent on the non-Jewish world. This can be seen today in the relationship between the State of Israel and the United States

Lessons-Emunah-logo

Yet, ultimately, looking back, these “setbacks” turned out to be really for the patient’s best – for the good.

In the afternoon, he reached into his pocket to check for the money, but it was empty. “The $50 bill must have fallen out,” Alex exclaimed. “It’s got to be in one of the rooms I was just at.”

Although the conversion ceremony involves more than circumcision and immersion, these are the two essential requirements, without which the conversion is ineffective.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Rashi in Shabbos 9b writes that the reason why the tefillah of Ma’ariv is a reshus is because it was instituted corresponding to the burning of the eimurim from the korbanos – which was performed at night.

It almost sounds as if Hashem is saying, “I have to keep Yaakov from getting too comfortable; otherwise he will forget Me. I can’t promise him sustenance because then he won’t need Me. He won’t write. He won’t call. He won’t love Me anymore.”

The Decree Of 1587
“Two Kabs Of Dinars Were Given…To King Yanai”
(Yevamos 61a)

Simply too many cases of prayers being answered to deny it makes a difference to our fate. It does.

Prayer is our language: Hakol kol Yaakov – the voice is the voice of Jacob – the voice of prayer.

Jacob cries, overcome by the knowledge that his great love for Rachel will end in unbearable pain.

There’s a perfect mirror between Jacob running away from Esav to when he reunites with his brother.

Yitzhak called you Esav and you answered him, then he called you Yaakov and you also answered him!”

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-sefirat-haomer-when-to-start-counting-part-ii/2014/04/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: