Question: If a bris falls out on a Sunday during the mourning time of the Omer, the Chasam Sofer says one cannot shave Erev Shabbos but if Lag B’omer falls out on Sunday then the Rema says one can shave on Erev Shabbos. What is the difference between a bris and Lag B’omer?
A. The Rema (Orach Chaim 493:2) says that one should not cut his hair until Lag B’omer itself, but not by evening, however if it falls out on Sunday there is a custom to cut hair on Friday in honor of Shabbos. And one who is making a bris for his son can cut his hair during sefira in honor of the bris. The Mishna Berura (13) adds that the father, sandek and mohel can get a haircut the night before he goes to shul between mincha and maariv. If the bris is on Shabbos he is permitted to get a haircut the day before even before chatzos, midday.
Answer: See Dirshu footnote 27 that the difference between a bris and Lag B’omer is that a bris is only a yom tov, joyous occasion for the individual whereas Lag B’omer is a yom tov for everyone.
Question: Why does the Magen Avraham (Orach Chaim 494:1)
and others say you cannot fast on Shavuos a taanis chalom, fast after a bad dream,
but can fast on other yom tovim and Shabbos?
A. A taanis chalom is fasted by an individual if he is so unsettled
about a dream one has that he feels he must fast as an atonement to relieve his
anguish. He is even allowed to do so on Shabbos and Yom Tov, though he has a
mitzvah to delight on these days and is forbidden to fast, but in this case
fasting is what brings this anguished person to delight so he is permitted to
B. The Gemara in Pesachim 68b says that everyone agrees that on Shavuos one must dedicate part of the day to “lachem” to oneself, in delighting in the day and not just learning and praying the whole day. Rashi there explains that one should be joyous with food and drink to show how one is satisfied and accepts the day the Torah was given. Even learning Torah the whole day would not suffice.
Answer: On Shavuos one is obligated to share with others your enjoyment over accepting the Torah which is clearly seen by having a meal, it is not enough to learn Torah the whole day, or to fast even though they both bring delight for the person. (See Dirshu Mishna Berura 594:3:11:17.)
2. Question: Why does the Kaf HaChaim say in one halacha that if one asks, is today the 8th of the Omer and it really is then he can still say a blessing and count the Omer but if he was learning the halacha in the evening before he counted and reads “on the eighth day one should say ‘today is the 8th day which is one week and one day of the omer’” then there is an argument whether you fulfilled the mitzvah at that point and you should count without a blessing?
A. The Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 489:4 says that if one asks you by twilight what is tonight’s count of the Omer, tell him yesterday’s count, for if you say today is so and so you will not be able to count with a blessing. The Mishna Berura (20) adds that even if you say it in your own language. But if you don’t say “today is” rather just the number that is fine because the main mitzvah of counting is to say, “today is so and so”.
B. The Kaf HaChaim says that if on the night of Lag B’omer one tells his friend ‘Do not say tachanun the next day because today is Lag B’omer’ he has no intention of saying the day’s count, rather he is just saying that today is a day we don’t say tachanun, therefore he has not fulfilled his mitzvah yet and he can declare the 33rd day of the Omer with a blessing.
Answer: It is not the way to count by asking a question therefore it doesn’t count and you can definitely still count with a blessing but when you read the count of the day in your learning then there is a question of whether you did the mitzvah because you read it the normal way you would declare that day. (See Dirshu Mishna Berura 489:4:20:56)
1. Question: Why are there some poskim who hold that if one isn’t sure whether he fulfilled the mitzvah of Omer or not he should still say a blessing and count the Omer for that night but they would also hold that a tumtum should not say a blessing upon putting on tzitzis?
A. A tumtum is a person born without clear signs of genitalia, it might be the person has to much fat or skin in the area to make a judgment whether it is female or male therefore there is a halachic doubt whether it is obligated in the mitzvah of tzitzis, so he should wear the tzitzis in doubt but should not say a blessing because, safek brachos lihakel, we are lenient to not say a blessing when in doubt lest we might say Hashem’s name in vain.
B. Shouldn’t this opinion, also be concerned that the person might have said the Omer already and saying a blessing potentially again might constitute saying Hashem’s name in vain so when in doubt don’t make the blessing?
Answer: This opinion holds that when there is a doubt of whether there is a mitzvah to begin with then one should not say a blessing but by this case of the Omer there was a definite obligation the only question is whether it was fulfilled yet or not therefore he holds a blessing should still be said since a definite obligation exists.(See Dirshu Mishna Berura footnote 41 on Be’ur Halacha 489:1 “moneh viholech”)
Question: What is the reason behind why counting the
Omer, according to the opinion that holds that you must count it yourself and
you can’t have in mind for someone to do it for you, be any different than any
other mitzvah done through speaking like Kiddush, megilla reading and Torah
reading etc. where one person can perform the mitzvah for many?
- The Torah does say “Usfartem lachem” meaning that you should count for yourself in terms of counting the omer but why is it different than any other mitzvah where we can apply the halachic axiom of “listening is like answering” (shmiah ki’onah)?
- Beis HaLevi on the Torah in the end of his Kuntrus on Chanukah says that a kohen can’t perform birkas kohanim by just going through the motions with everyone else without speaking out the blessing by using this axiom of “listening is like answering” because birkas kohanim does not just need a speech it has to be done out loud.
- The Magen Avraham says that one can’t count the omer in Hebrew if he does not understand what he is saying.
- You have to count.
Answer: Shomea ki’ona, listening is like answering won’t help for the omer because all that does is make it as if you said the words of counting but you need to be doing an actual counting, verbally, each night, just like the Kohen has to say birkas kohanim out loud it is not enough to be considered as if he said them, therefore one has to do his own counting even if someone else is allowed to say the blessing on the omer for him.
- Question: How does the Noda B’Yehuda differentiate
between inheritance and a sale in regards to the mitzvah of not owning chometz?
A. Noda B’Yehuda (Mahadura
Kamma Orach Chaim 20) writes that if one dies after the sixth hour and he did
not sell or nullify his chometz, his inheritors don’t need to destroy it and it
is permissible after Pesach since chometz is not property inherited by his
B. The Noda B’Yehuda (Mahadura
Kamma 19) writes to answer for a Rambam in the first chapter of hilchos chometz
and matzah that if it would not have been chometz it would belong to him
therefore the pasuk of “bal yeraeh” should put it back into his possession on
Pesach for the asking of attaining a prohibition, in a case of where a person
buys chometz, which the halacha is he gets lashes, even though zechia, positive
acquisition does not apply to object which are forbidden to get benefit from,
but since the Torah reveals that it is his through the verse of “bal yeraeh”
then it is considered money/property in regards to zechiah.
C. Acquisitions work even when not yours like by stealing.
Answer: Chametz on Pesach is only yours in regards to prohibition so it cannot work to inherit because it’s not monetarily yours, and Hashem won’t automatically put it in your possession if you didn’t play any role to get it. But in regards to a sale since you can acquire things illegally like by stealing then you can acquire it in regards to only having a prohibition as well, since you actively tried getting it.