Pearls of Rashi: Parshas Emor I

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In this week’s Torah portion, Emor, the Torah commands us to count Sefiras HaOmer[1]; “And you shall count for yourselves, from the day after the rest day from the day you bring the Omer as a wave offering seven weeks; they shall be complete.” In other words, we begin our count on the second day of Pesach, i.e., the day we bring the Omer offering. We continue counting forty-nine days; the fiftieth day is the holiday of Shavuos.

Several medieval Halachic codifiers (Rishonim) decided that he may not continue counting if one misses a day of the count. The Shulchan Aruch decides[2] that if one misses a day, he should count without reciting the Berochoh.

Some explain this as follows. The commandment is to count forty-nine days. Consequently, if one missed a single day, he no longer has the Mitzvah.

This explanation is hard to understand. If the entire period is one large Mitzvah, why did the Sages establish to count a separate blessing each day? Furthermore, if we say that it is one Mitzvah if at some point one does forget to count, he has retroactively made a blessing in vain each day that he counted. This being the case, why did the Rabbis not institute saying one Berochoh on the last day?

It seems that we must say that each day that we count Sefirah is a different Mitzvah. Therefore, we recite a separate Berochoh each day. Hence, if one misses a day, the blessings made on the earlier days were not in vain.

The reason for the opinion that one may not continue counting with a blessing is because if one day is missing, the following day(s) are also missing. For example, I cannot say tonight that it is twenty-nine days if I miss one of the earlier days.

Please note that we do not say that it is the “twenty-ninth day.” Instead, we say that it is “twenty-nine days.” This means that we have the combined effect of all of the days leading to today. That cannot be said if one is missing one day.

Once we complete the count and have all forty-nine days, we will be ready to receive the Torah of the fiftieth day.

I wish one and all a good Shabbos and a healthy summer!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 1, Page 270

מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש

The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris

חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם
הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס


[1]. Our Parshah, Vayikroh 23:15.

[2]. Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Chapter 489.

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