May a teacher take attendance of the students in her class if this risks divulging the number of students in attendance? Is this “counting” included in the prohibition of not counting Jews or since it does not say the number exactly, it would be ok?
Thank you sincerely.
It is permitted to take attendance by saying each one’s name etc. because you are not counting them. If you count the amount of “present” marks, that is also permitted because you are now not counting people, rather attendance marks. The prohibition is only to actually count the people via a number, “one, two, three”. This is why there is a minhag that when counting to see if there are ten men for a minyan we count the people using a posuk that has ten words “hoshia es amecha…” As long as the actual counting is not done via number it is permitted, even though you will know the actual number of people afterwards.
KItzur Shulchan Aruch 15-3.