web analytics
October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Counting Sefirah Without A Berachah


Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

This column is dedicated to the refuah sheleimah of Shlomo Eliezer ben Chaya Sarah Elka.

The Rambam writes the halachos of Sefiras Ha’Omer in Hilchos Temidim U’musafin (7:22-25). He says that there is a mitzvas assei to count seven complete weeks from the day that the korban omer was brought. The mitzvah is to count the days and the weeks. We count at night because the mitzvah requires that we count at the beginning of the day, which is at night. If one forgot to count at night he may count by day.

One should optimally stand while counting, but if one counted while sitting he has fulfilled his obligation. Women and slaves are exempt from counting the omer. The Kesef Mishneh explains that this is because it is a mitzvas assei she’hazeman gramma (time-sensitive mitzvah). One must recite a berachah every day prior to counting the omer. If one counted without a berachah, he has fulfilled his obligation and should not repeat it.

The Acharonim are bothered as to why the Rambam wrote here the halacha of when one performs the mitzvah without reciting a berachah. The Rambam wrote those halachos in Hilchos Berachos and generally does not repeat them by each individual mitzvah. The Kesef Mishneh comments that this halacha is indeed pashut (obvious). This is because birchas hamitzvos are generally not me’akev the fulfillment of a mitzvah.

Another question is why the Rambam felt the need to write that one should recite a berachah every day. Once the Rambam wrote that one must recite a berachah prior to counting, it should be implicit that we should recite the berachah before each counting. This too should be evident from Hilchos Berachos, where the Rambam wrote that one must recite a berachah prior to performing any mitzvah.

Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Shapiro, zt”l, suggested the following solution: he said that it appears that the Rambam holds that if one does not count for one night and the following day, he can no longer count the omer. This is implied in the Rambam’s writing that if one did not count at night he may count by day, not mentioning that if one forgets to count by day he may still continue counting on the following day. Seemingly this is in line with Tosafos (Menachos 66a), who explain that there is just one mitzvah to count all the days of Sefiras Ha’Omer – not that each day is a separate mitzvah. Therefore, when one fails to count during an entire day (night and day) he can no longer count for the remainder of the omer because he has lost a part of the mitzvah. If we consider each day to be a separate mitzvah to count, he would be permitted to continue counting even if he missed one day.

How does this opinion reconcile with the fact that we recite a berachah every day before we count the omer. If it is all just one mitzvah we should not recite a new berachah each day. The Gemara in Menachos 42b says that we only recite a berachah upon the completion of a mitzvah. The Rambam brings this halacha in Hilchos Berachos 11:8. Based on this, the only time that we should recite a berachah is on the 49th day – when the mitzvah is complete.

Rabbi Moshe Shmuel suggests that the berachah that we recite on Sefiras Ha’Omer is not merely an ordinary birchas hamitzvos; rather the berachah is part of the counting. The mitzvah requires that one count by means of a berachah.

Thus, even though it is all one mitzvah we must recite a berachah each time we count sefirah because it is part of the way we must perform the mitzvah. Even though a general birchas hamitzvos would not be recited until the completion of the mitzvah, here the berachah is not only a birchas hamitzvos – it is also part of the mitzvah itself.

Based on this we can also explain why the Rambam felt the need to write here in Hilchos Sefiras Ha’Omer that we should recite a berachah each time we count. The Rambam is teaching us that this berachah is not like a general birchas hamitzvos, whereby we would not recite the berachah until its completion; rather the berachah is part of the actual mitzvah and thus is recited each night. We can also understand why the Rambam had to write that if one did not recite the berachah he should not repeat it, having already fulfilled his obligation. This is because, based on this, the Rambam is teaching us a great chiddush. After the Rambam informed us that the berachah is part of the counting and therefore we must recite the berachah each time we count the omer, one may think that if one does not recite the berachah he has not fulfilled his obligation.

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.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 “Counting Sefirah Without A Berachah”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Tapuach Junction. (archive)
Border Police Stop Terrorists at Tapuach Junction
Latest Judaism Stories
Parsha-Perspectives-NEW

Often in life we become stuck – stuck in the morass of our habits and the rote of our comfort level.

PTI-100314

There is one day of the year on which the Satan has no power: Yom Kippur.

Neihaus-100314

During shmittah we refrain from agricultural activities and collection of loans, and on Yom Kippur we refrain from all physical pleasures.

Daf-Yomi-logo

A Miraculous Visual Treat
‘They Lifted It Up To Show…’
(Chagiga 26b)

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

What right do I, sinner, have to approach Hashem and request forgiveness?

Throughout the war, Akiva had several brief furloughs home, and each time exchanged whichever mishnayos volume he had finished for the next in the series.

Imagine a man who, after having a few too many drinks, gets into his car and begins driving. It takes a while before he is pulled over, but finally the police arrest him, and he stands trial for driving while intoxicated.

Mr. Fisher contacted Rabbi Dayan. “Am I allowed to use money of ma’aser kesafim to pay the shul for an aliyah that I bought?” he asked.

In addition to Yom Kippur, there is at least one other instance when a person may fast on Shabbat – the case of a ta’anit chalom, in which a person wishes to fast to prevent an ominous dream from becoming reality.

Others suggest that one cannot separate Shabbos from Yom Kippur by accepting Shabbos early.

The call of the shofar is eternal. It is not musical. Its magnetic allurement cannot be explained.

Ba’al Shem Tov: “Hashem, too, is crying; as much as He is looking for us, we rarely look for Him.”

When we cry from the heart, someone listens; When we cry on Yom Kippur, God hears us.

Contrary to popular belief, the Talmud never explicitly limits the ban on footwear to leather shoes.

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Others suggest that one cannot separate Shabbos from Yom Kippur by accepting Shabbos early.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

While women are exempt from actually learning Torah, they are obligated in a different aspect of the mitzvah.

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

Since it is a Rabbinic prohibition we may follow the more lenient opinion.

They ask, how can Rabbeinu Gershom forbid marrying more than one wife, when the Torah explicitly permits it in this parshah?

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

According to Rabbi Yishmael one was not permitted to eat such an animal prior to entering Eretz Yisrael, while according to Rabbi Akiva one was permitted to eat animals if he would perform nechirah.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/counting-sefirah-without-a-berachah/2013/04/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: