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Why don't we count two nights each night, if there was always a Safek (doubt) what the date is.

In other words: if we are not sure when the second night of Pesach is, why don't we carry that doubt throughout the entire duration of Sefira?

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@CharlesKoppelman Does that mean they are strongly related, or only second-degree related? – Double AA Apr 25 '13 at 17:34
@DoubleAA touché. – Charles Koppelman Apr 25 '13 at 18:05

From Nefesh HaRav by Rabbi Herschel Schachter, shlita,:

"The Rishonim [end of Tractate Pesachim] ask the following: 'Why don't we count Sefirat HaOmer each night twice [i.e., "today is the second day," and "today is the first day," etc.] due to the doubtful day?'

"HaRav Joseph B. Soloveitchik, zt"l, heard a reason why we do not do so from the Kovno Rav [see Devar Avraham]: If a person counts twice due to doubt, i.e., stating that it is either the fourth day of the Omer or the fifth day of the Omer, he will not have fulfilled his mitzva at all because a doubtful count is not considered a count. Our Sages stated in the first perek of Bava Metzia regarding ma'aser behema that it must be the tenth of every ten animals, and not a doubtful tenth."

In conclusion, now that we have an established calendar and our celebration of two days Yom Tov is only due to the minhag of our fathers, as noted in the beginning of Tractate Beitza, we count consecutive numbers each night, starting from the second night of Pesach until we have counted seven complete weeks - to Shavuot


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Any idea what they did way back when (when there really was a Safek) – yydl Apr 24 '11 at 4:45
Hard to remember. It has been quiet a while..... – Gershon Gold Apr 24 '11 at 16:14
Yes. But according to your answer they would not be able to count Sefira! – yydl Apr 24 '11 at 16:21
"The Rishonim ask" - and what do they answer? – Shmuel Apr 27 '14 at 1:59

Taame Haminhagim 577 answers (in my own loose translation):

… because we shouldn't be so strict about it, since it's nothing but a remembrance to what was done when we had the bes hamikdash.

Another [reason] is that if we count one day ahead then we'll reach number 49 on Shavuos, which we'll therefore come to treat lightly. (Avudraham.)

He then offers a reason of his own. I'll quote it, but I don't understand it:

If we count twice in one day, then one will need to count "today is the second day" on the third day, and, in case the first day is the true [first day], he'll need to count "today is the third day" with a blessing on the third day. And likewise for every day.

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I don't see why 49 on the Yom Tov of Shavuot is worse than 1 on the Yom Tov of Pesach. – Double AA Apr 27 '14 at 6:48
@DoubleAA, nor I, but I guess the Avudraham does. :-) Maybe 49 on the yom tov mid'oray'sa is worse than 1 on the yom tov mid'rabanan. – msh210 Apr 27 '14 at 15:15
@DoubleAA Perhaps because the very essence of Shavuos is that it comes after 49 days of the omer. – Fred Apr 27 '14 at 17:06

We also do not say Ushpizin twice each night on Succos. This would seem to indicate that although we have Sefeika DeYoma we do not extend it to either the Omer or the Ushpizin.

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Yet we do extend it to Issur Chodosh, which remains forbidden through the end of the 17th of Nissan. – Double AA Apr 15 '13 at 16:53
This looks like a comment, not an answer. – Seth J Apr 15 '13 at 17:20
Wouldn't this only indicate that we do not extend the concept of Sefeika deYoma to Ushpizin? How does this indicate if we do or do not extend Sefeika deYoma to Omer? – Double AA Apr 15 '13 at 22:21

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