Torah Riddles Test #189

 2. Question: Why does the Ohr Letzion poskin that anyone can give a haircut to their 3 year old at anytime of the omer but the bottom Tosfos in Bava Metzia 10b says that not even women can cut off the peus of boys?


A. The negative mitzvah of cutting off peus on a Jewish Male doesn’t only apply to a man but even a woman can’t do the action even to a boy who is not obligated in mitzvos but the women still transgressed the prohibition of cutting off the sidelocks. (See Tosfos there.)

B. The laws of mourning don’t apply to children whether it is for a relative who died or during the 3 weeks leading into Tisha b’av etc.

C. Not cutting hair during the omer is a custom in order to remember the loss of Rebbe Akiva’s students.

 Answer: Mourning doesn’t apply to a child at all so anyone can cut his hair even if they are mourning since not cutting hair only reflect mourning which doesn’t apply to the child but the prohibition of cutting off peus is an issue on the cutter not just the one being done to so even if the child isn’t obligated in the mitzvah as of yet but the hair cutter or the one allowing the hair cut to be done is.

Torah Riddles Test #188

1. Question: Why can you remarry a woman you divorced after Nisuin but not a woman you divorced after Kiddushin (Erusin) anytime during the omer? Background:

A. Weddings are forbidden during parts of the omer when we are mourning over the loss of Rebbe Akiva’s students because it creates a tremendous amount of joy.

 B. There are two parts to a halachic marriage, Kiddushin which is the acquisition by giving the ring and the like and nisuin which is the consummation. Now a days we do them all at the same time but they use to be done separately like an engagement and a wedding.

 C. A get (divorce bill) is required in both cases and a Kiddushin and nisuin must be redone both times too.

 Answer: There is no halachic joy when remarrying your wife from Nisuin because you are just getting back together, nothing new. But to consummate a Kiddushin that was broken off is a new step to the marriage so it has a lot more joy. (See Dirshu Mishna Berura 493 footnote 2) 

Torah Riddles Test #185

2.    Question: Why can’t Omer be written down to fulfill the mitzvah even according to the view that writing is like speaking?


A. The Mishna Berura (47:4) brings an argument by Torah learning whether writing is like speaking or thinking the question being whether you have to say the blessing for learning Torah before writing Torah thoughts. On the one hand it’s an action so it’s like speaking on the other hand he didn’t say anything and the blessing is for speaking in learning. The Mishna Berura concludes that one should be strict and not say a blessing in the morning upon writing Torah notes until he is ready to verbalize them.

B. The Aruch Hashulchan says that by Torah learning the purpose of writing is to reveal the thoughts in one’s mind and that is why one opinion says writing is like speaking. Why then would writing the omer be different?

 Answer: The mitzvah by omer, krish Shema, and the amida is speaking it out so writing isn’t enough. So if you did it you would have to say the blessing over again and recite the omer verbally. (See Dirshu Mishna Berura 489 footnote 43.)

Torah Riddles Test #111

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)

Torah Riddles Test #110

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”)

Torah Riddles Test #109

  1. Question: Why isn’t it a disruption between the blessing and the mitzvah if he said the wrong number then corrected himself?


  1. The Be’ur Halacha (25:9 “Vi’im hifsik”) says that even if one speaks one word between the blessing and mitzvah it is considered a disruption and you must say another blessing before performing the mitzvah, normally.
  2. You don’t have to say the blessing over again only if you realized immediately, toch kidei dibur, your mistake but if you realized a few seconds too late it is as if you finished the mitzvah (albeit in the wrong way) and what you said is a disruption so even in this case you would have to say another blessing and count correctly.

Answer: . As long as you are within toch kidei dibur you are trying to fulfill the mitzvah so you verbal action is still attached to the blessing you are just stumbling to say it correctly, that is not considered a disruption because you ae still involved in trying to perform the mitzvah.

Torah Riddles Test #108

  1. Question:  If a person counted correctly but then immediately thought he counted wrong and “corrected” himself within toch kidei dibur, why does his counting still count?


  1. Toch kidei dibur is a halachic axiom that if one immediately corrects himself it is as if the first statement he says was never said and we go with the second statement. This is as long as the correction was made within the time it takes to say “shalom aleichem rebbe umoreh”.
  2. There is an argument between Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt”l and Rav Elyashiv zt”l whether toch kidei dibur could be applied to ruin something, or it just works to fix a mistake one said by accident. But in this case they will both agree for the same reason that switching the number immediately after one said the correct number of the omer will not erase what he originally said.
  3. The correction was a mistake, though if you did it you can still continue counting with a blessing the next night since the mistake does not count but Rav Elyashiv said you should count again without a blessing when you realize the mistake you made, though you don’t have to.

Answer: When you say the wrong number by the omer after you say the correct number it’s a complete mistake which you didn’t intend because you want to do the right count but according to Rav Aurbach when he says you can ruin something toch kidei dibur that is when there is some level of intent. It is not a complete mistake.

Torah Riddles #107

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?


  1. 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)?
  2. 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.
  3. The Magen Avraham says that one can’t count the omer in Hebrew if he does not understand what he is saying.
  4. 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.

Torah Riddles Test #32

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.”

B. The 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]