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Laws of Counting the Omer

Chapter 4

Mistakes and Cases of Doubt

1)                    If one is in doubt over whether one counted or not, he should count without a blessing. If he did not notice his doubt, and did not count again until the next night, he may continue to count with a blessing. This is true even if it happened to him a number of times.

2)                    One who is not in town, or bedridden, and has no access to a calendar by which to know which day it is, should count both (or more) days that he thinks it might be. After he finds out what the right count is, he continues to count the correct day with a blessing.

3)                    One who fails to say “today,” but only completed the blessing and added “two days of the Omer,” does not fulfill his obligation, and must repeat the count (and the blessing).

4)                    From the seventh day and on the days and the weeks are counted. If days were counted without weeks, the count should be repeated without a blessing.

5)                    If weeks were counted but not days, one must repeat the count with a blessing.

6)                    If on the eighth day one recited “today is seven days and one day” one fulfills one’s obligation, and the count should be repeated without a blessing.

7)                    The count is expressed in the male form (shtei, not shnei). If the female form was stated, one fulfills the obligation. She same applies to the word she-hem (not she-hen).

8)                    From the eleventh day and on the word yom (not yamim) is used. One who says yamim fulfills his obligation.

9)                    The smaller number is stated before the larger number: one and twenty. If the order is reversed one fulfills the obligation.

10)                  On the first day one recites “Today is one day.” If one recites “Today is the first day” one fulfills one’s obligation.

11)                  One who counts the thirty ninth day as “Today is forty days minus one day” fulfills his obligation.

12)                  Authorities dispute the status of one who counts in letters (aleph for the first day, or mag for the forty-third day). One should therefore repeat the count without a blessing; one may continue to count the remainder of the count with a blessing.

13)                  One who writes (for instance, on a letter) the number of the days before he counts, has not fulfilled his obligation and may count with a blessing. However, if he writes “12 days of the Omer” (rather than 12 of the Omer, or 12 of the count of Israel) should only count without a blessing.

14)                  If one forgets to count for the entire night and following day, having written the number of days (see above) is not sufficient to permit counting with a blessing for the remainder of the Omer count.

15)                  One who states the correct day of the count, and then corrects himself mistakenly and states the wrong day, has fulfilled his obligation.

16)                  One cannot fulfill one’s obligation by means of thought alone.

17)                  When asked after sunset which day it is, before having counted the Omer, one should respond: “Yesterday was such and such.”

18)                  If one responded “the count is such and such,” one may still count with a blessing, because the word “today” was not mentioned. If one responded “today is such and such” in the first week of the count, one may no longer recite the blessing. In subsequent weeks, if the response did not mention the number of weeks, one may repeat the count with a blessing.

19)                  If one replied that yesterday was the tenth day, and in fact yesterday was the ninth and today the tenth, one may count again with a blessing.

20)                  If one asks his fellow if today is the tenth day, and the other replies “yes,” both may repeat the count with a blessing.

21)                  If one mentions the correct count of the Omer by way of study, authorities dispute whether or not he may repeat the count with a blessing.

22)                  If one states “today is lag ba’omer,” with the intention of the ‘festival’ of lag ba’omer, one may count with a blessing.

23)                  If one recited the blessing with the wrong day in mind, but counted the correct day, one fulfills one’s obligation. Even if the wrong day was mentioned, but the right day was mentioned immediately (within kedei dibbur), one fulfills the obligation. However, if the mistake is not corrected immediately, or if one has already begun the recitation of harachaman, one should repeat the count with the blessing.

24)                  If one counted the wrong day but counted the right number of weeks and days (e.g. today is seventeen days, which is two weeks and two days), he should count again. If he failed to count again, some authorities maintain that he may continue to count with a blessing for the remainder of the count.

25)                  If the above mistake was made on a day that completes a week (14, 21, 28), then he has certainly not fulfilled his obligation, and may not continue to count with a blessing.

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