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: Why does the concept of “toch kidei dibur” work to correct
oneself if he says the wrong day of the Omer but not if he mentions Shabbos
instead of Yom Tov in his shemone esray?
A. “Toch kidei dibur” is the concept of
realizing one made a mistake and immediately correcting himself within a
certain short amount of time which is the amount of time it takes for a student
to greet his rebbe saying, “Shalom aleichem rebbe umoreh.”
Mishna Berura (Orach Chaim 488:6:32) says “they further write that if one makes
a mistake and says ‘today is the fourth day of the omer’ and toch kidei dibur
remembers it is the fifth day, it is enough to just finish ‘fifth of the Omer’
and he fulfills the mitzvah even if he didn’t say ‘today is the fifth day’
since it was still within the allotted time of correction.
C. If one
on Yom Tov says “mikadesh hashabbos” instead of “mikadesh Yisrael vihazmanim,”
the Mishna Berura (487:3) says one must go back and say “mikadesh Yisrael
vihazmanim” and it’s not enough just to correct oneself toch kidei dibur and
say “Yisrael vihazmanim” after concluding “mikadesh hashabbos.”
D. When Yom Tov falls out on Shabbos we say in our shemone esray “mikadesh hashabbos Yisrael vihazmanim.”
Answer: Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach explains that it is not recognizable that you are correcting the mistake you made since that is just what you say on Shabbos Yom Tov but by the Omer it does look like he is correcting himself since one does not count twice in one day. (See Dirshu Mishna Berura there note 68.) [/exapnd]