(following up from a previous question)

If one counted Sefiras Haomer downwards, for example:

Today is 49 days, which is 7 weeks to the Omer...

Today is 48 days, which is 6 weeks and 6 days to the Omer...

Albeit this is a non-traditional method, but practically speaking the person did count 7 weeks.

Would one fulfill their obligation of Counting the Omer this way?


I don't feel my question is similar to this question because (as pointed out by DonielF) I'm not asking why we count upwards (1-49) rather, if one would be yotzei counting Sefira if they counted down from 49-1

  • 2
    I don't think so. For one thing, you're phrasing as you cited is off. The 1st day is not 7 weeks to the Omer. If anything, it's "7 weeks left to Shavu'ot". Perhaps, that phrasing would be valid. However, my hunch is not even that works b/c the Torah's phrasing is "until the morrow of the 7th week, you shall count 50 days." (Separate discussion as to why we count just 49.) However, what I need to research is whether "count 50 days" means "count a day 50 times" or "the day that you count should be, specifically the 50th day."
    – DanF
    Commented Apr 22, 2019 at 22:13
  • I see that you asked a similar question as to why we count up. DoubleAA submitted this answer - judaism.stackexchange.com/a/15876/5275. I think that considering this is a direct Torah verse, it not only answers why we do it, but also seems to make it clear that we can't count down b/c it wouldn't fulfill the commandment properly. Think it over. If you still think that this answer is lacking, please comment, or edit in this question what else you are seeking.
    – DanF
    Commented Apr 22, 2019 at 22:42
  • Like Channuka, you mean - B"H and B"S...
    – Al Berko
    Commented Apr 22, 2019 at 22:50
  • In what counting Mitzvah or practice did you see that counting backward is called counting?
    – Al Berko
    Commented Apr 22, 2019 at 22:58
  • 2
    @Al He isn’t asking why we do it this way, but what the Halacha would be if one did it the other way. Not a dupe.
    – DonielF
    Commented Apr 22, 2019 at 23:55

1 Answer 1


I'm inferring from reading O.C. 489:1 that one cannot do this. Here, they are specific about the language one must use to count each night.

One particular area that convinces me that you cannot count backwards is mentioned in the Mishnah Berurah commentary #8. There is a discussion as to whether the phrasing is ba'omer (in the Omer) or la'omer (to the Omer). Regardless, of which version one uses, it is clear that one needs to mention the term "Omer" to specify that the counting began from the day that the Omer offering is brought, which was 16 Nissan.

Indeed, the Torah itself in Devarim 16:9 - Deuteronomy 16:9 Sefaria says

You shall count off seven weeks; start to count the seven weeks when the sickle is first put to the standing grain.

Rash"i explains the date that counting starts:

i.e. from when the “Omer” has been cut (from the sixteenth of Nisan) which is the first produce to be harvested (Leviticus 23:10) (cf. Sifrei Devarim 136:2-3; Menachot 71a).

So, it's clear from these two sources that the counting begins the day that the Omer offering was brought and we count the number of days from that point moving forwards. If, on the first day, we said "Today is the 49th day of the Omer" it would be outright false.

  • 2
    You actually don't have to say either Baomer or Laomer. Just "today is 3" is perfectly valid
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 23, 2019 at 2:17

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