Monday, April 28, 2008

Sefirat HaOmer: Why no brachah during the day?

This is my understanding of how one counts the Omer, according to halachah/Jewish religious law:

One is supposed to do Sefirat HaOmer, the Counting of the Omer, at night. (Sefirat HaOmer appears before Aleinu in the Arvit/Maariv/Evening Service). However, if one forgets to count the Omer at night, one is permitted to count it at any time before sundown the next day. But those who do the count during the day are supposed to count without making the brachah/blessing first. They are permitted to recite the brachah the next time they count at night, provided that they haven't forgotten to count, by night or day, any day of the Omer--once one misses a day's count, one must continue counting without making the blessing.

Question: Why is one not supposed to say the brachah if one does Sefirat HaOmer during the day? Is one not still fulfilling the mitzvah?

My rabbi said that, while one may fulfill the mitzvah during the day, the count is really supposed to be done at night, and that's why one doesn't say the brachah when counting during the day.

Any other opinions, explanations, etc?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The VBM has an article with sources here, from which I've gleaned (sorry, I'm reading Ruth) the following: If we count during the day, we may not be fulfilling the mitzvah for two reasons:

1. The counting and the cutting go together: we cut at night so we count at night.
2. The idea of "completeness":
"One must not only count each day; one must count each part of the day. A count performed in the morning would not relate to the beginning of the twenty-four-hour period - the nighttime.

Mon Apr 28, 01:24:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Ah! "Sheva shabbatot *t'mimot* tih'yena, seven *perfect/complete* (depending on the translation) weeks they will be" (hope my translation's a reasonable facsimile of accurate) is what the Torah specifies. So that makes sense, Mich. One could argue that, if you count during the day(s), the seven weeks are not, technically, complete weeks, because you didn't count the night(s).

Mon Apr 28, 03:18:00 PM 2008  

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