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Basic Laws of Counting the Omer

Basic Laws of Counting the Omer

From Siddur Tehillat Hashem


When Do We Count?

The Omer is counted from the second night of Passover through the night before Shavuot. It is best to count the Omer at nightfall, immediately after the evening prayer. However, one may count at any time throughout the night.

After sunset, one should avoid saying, “Today is the... day” before first reciting the blessing—e.g., in response to someone who asks—for if he does so, he has already fulfilled his obligation. If, however, he only said the number of days without prefacing it with “Today is...,” he has not fulfilled his obligation and may recite the blessing. Nevertheless, it is best to reply with the number of days counted on the previous day.

One Who Forgot to Count

If one forgot to count at night, he should count during the day without a blessing, and may count with a blessing on the subsequent nights. If he forgot to count during the day as well, he must count on the rest of the nights without a blessing. If one is in doubt as to whether he had counted on the previous night, and did not count during the day, he may continue counting with a blessing. Before counting the Omer, one should not begin eating (even a light meal) within half an hour before twilight.

How Do We Count

The chazzan recites the blessing and counts the Omer, followed by the congregation. The Omer is counted standing. While counting the Omer, bear in mind: the corresponding sefirah of that night; one word from the Psalm May God be gracious; one letter from the verse The nations will rejoice; and one word from We implore You (as indicated in Hebrew).

Count Today's Omer

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Eliezer Zalmanov for March 22, 2016

Re: If You're Concerned The counting must be done on each individual day, so counting in advance would not accomplish anything. Reply

Jesse Corey March 21, 2016

If You're Concerned If you're concerned that you'll forget to count all days when it's the first day, is it okay to say when each day is, and if you remember after all, count without a blessing? Reply

CB via April 16, 2015

To Anonymous, Knoxville If you did not count the first day passed, you do not say the blessing at all. If you forgot to say the blessing at night but remembered to count during the daytime, you can say the blessing at night. If you forgot to say the blessing two consecutive days, you do not recite the blessing. Reply

Anonymous knoxville, TN via April 7, 2015

What if I start late? Do I skip the blessing every day if I start counting after the first day, or just skip the blessing for those days that I missed? So if I start tomorrow--the 5th day--do I count for the first four days then say the blessing for the fifth day, or skip the blessings for the whole 49 days? Reply

Shaul Wolf February 3, 2015

Re: We do not have weddings during the Counting of the Omer. These days are seen as days of mourning, and it is therefore inappropriate to celebrate a wedding.
One may arrange a Bar/Bat Mitzvah party during the Omer, provided there is no music played then.
For more information, see this link. Reply

Anonymous Miami January 29, 2015

can you have celebrations during the counting of omer, like weddings bat mitzvahs etc? Reply

katrin Germany April 5, 2013

Chabad is a lifesafer! Wow! Thank you! I was wondering how to do the counting correctly assuming there had to be much more than what I knew. We can always count on you! Reply

Menachem Posner for May 16, 2010

RE: Counting the Omer The kernel of these laws can be found in Leviticus 23. It is important to understand that these few, terse, meaning-laden verses are interpreted in detail in the Code of Jewish Law 489, based largely on the discussions found in the Talmud, Tractate Menachot. Reply

Pieter Nelspruit, South Africa May 14, 2010

Counting the Omer Can you please state where in the Tanakh does it state these "laws" ? Reply