Friday, May 9, 2008

Spirit of the Law: Sefiras Haomer III

3) “One who asks his friend during or after bein hashemashos: ‘What is today in the Omer?’ He should respond: ‘Yesterday was so-and-so.’ If he says that day’s count, he may not count with a brochah for himself afterward.”

The Mekor Chaim, zt”l, cites the Zohar Hakadosh which states that the seven weeks of the Omer parallel the seven days that a woman counts before she immerses. Perhaps this is one reason why, according to the Kabbalah, women do not count sefirah., Since they do a micro-counting of seven days that represents becoming cleansed so that they can connect properly to Hashem, the macro-counting is superfluous. (This will be discussed at length, with Hashem’s help, in chapters 157 and 159.)

If a person misses one day, his count is lacking in completion; he can no longer count with a brochah. When we consider the present halachah, of one who said the day’s count aloud unthinkingly and failed to make a brochah, we find that such a person has a flippant attitude about the sefirah. Not only did he forget to count with dveikus, he didn’t even make a minimal brochah. Since the count was lacking completion and vitality, he cannot go back and make the blessing. (One who answered his friend’s query with that day’s number but had in mind not to discharge his obligation may, in fact, count with a brochah afterward. The fact that he was conscious enough to mentally exclude his own future counting shows that his providing the day’s number was not forgetful and careless.)

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