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Emor – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Does Someone Who Becomes Bar Mitzvah During Sefirat HaOmer Count With a Berakhah?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on May 16, 2024)
Topics: Emor, Rosh Yeshiva Responds, Sefer Vayikra, Torah

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וּסְפַרְתֶּ֤ם לָכֶם֙ מִמָּֽחֳרַ֣ת הַשַּׁבָּ֔ת מִיּוֹם֙ הֲבִ֣יאֲכֶ֔ם אֶת־עֹ֖מֶר הַתְּנוּפָ֑ה שֶׁ֥בַע שַׁבָּת֖וֹת תְּמִימֹ֥ת תִּֽהְיֶֽינָה

And from the day on which you bring the sheaf of elevation offering—the day after the sabbath—you shall count off seven weeks. They must be complete(Vayikra 23:15)

QUESTION—Baltimore, MD

Assuming counting the omer is one mitzvah for the entire period, if you turn 13 in the middle of the counting, are you allowed to say the blessing since there was no obligation to count prior to turning 13? What if you know ahead of time that you will miss a day of counting in the future (could be because you are flying across the world which will make you miss a day), should you be saying the blessings prior to missing a day knowing you will not perform the mitzvah in its entirety?


Statistically this question should arise in 1 out of every 7 cases of bar mitzvah. The acharonim debate it. The question is if counting prior to being commanded to do so is enough to give content to the remainder of sefirah which is a mitzvah. (Take a look at the Minchat Chinukh on Mitzvah 306.)

The consensus of the poskim is that if the minor did all the counting before bar mitzvah he can continue with a berakhah once he is bar mitzvah.

If you know you will miss a full day in the future don’t say the berakhot now. See Mishnah Berurah 489:3 who quotes an acharon who assumes women will eventually skip a day and therefore they shouldn’t make a berakhah now,

וכתב בספר שולחן שלמה דעכ”פ לא יברכו דהא בודאי יטעו ביום אחד.

Though a number of poskim including רב שלמה זלמן אויירבך, רב ווזנר (שבט הלוי), ורב אלישיב all rule that even if you believe you will miss a day in the future you count now with a berakhah, I also understand that Rav Soloveitchik said to make a berakhah in such circumstances.

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