Shulchan Aruch, OC 489:4 (in my own translation):

Someone whose friend asks him during twilight "How many days of the [omer] count tonight?" should tell him "Yesterday was such-and-such". For if he tells him "Today is such-and-such", he can't go back and count with a [preceding] benediction.

Mishna B'rura :20 (in my own translation):

"'Today is such-and-such'" — and even in a foreign language. But if he didn't say "Today", we have no [concern] about it [i.e. he has certainly not fulfilled his counting obligation and can therefore say a benediction and count], because the main command of counting is that he say "Today is such-and-such".

  1. Does "Tonight is three days of the omer" (or the equivalent in Hebrew) count as "Today is three days of the omer"?
  2. Does "Tonight is three nights of the omer" (or the equivalent in Hebrew) count?
  3. Does "Now is three days of the omer" (or the equivalent in Hebrew) count?

In English, "It's Tuesday." is used to indicate unambiguously (if context doesn't provide another meaning) that today is Tuesday. (Saying "Tuesday" alone is not.) Most likely, though, the "It" in that sentence does not refer to some hidden antecedent "Today".

  1. Does "It's three days of the omer" count?

1 Answer 1


The implication from Today is the square-root of 25th day of the omer is that any of the methods that you give will be the same as "today is". For example "Code of Jewish Law Ganzfried - Goldin, volume 3 page 52 chapter 120 number 3 (translation of Kitzur Shulchan Aruch). Thus, "tonight", "now", "It is", or any other method that expresses the current time, would be the same as saying "today is".

If we are asked at twilight or thereafter, before we counted the omer, how many days are to be counted on that day, we are to tell the inquirer the number of the previous day, for if we mention the number of the current day, we are forbidden to pronounce the benediction when we count the omer later

The statement of the Mishnah Brura that "even in a foreign language" seems to imply that any statement that can be translated into "hayom" is sufficient to make it a count. Thus, this would also indicate that it does not have to be "today" but could also be any of the other indicators given. Since they all would translate to "hayom" they would all be valid counts.

An example at How to Count the Omer

Since you must recite the blessing before you count, don't mention the count for that night beforehand. So if someone asks you what the count is that night, answer by telling him what last night was. If you accidentally tell him "Tonight is the sixteenth," you may no longer recite the blessing that night.

הלילה meaning tonight would also be like hayom as it also means the currrent day is so many days and weeks of the omer. Thus we say that after shkia on "Wednesday noght", the "Tonight is Thursday the x day of the omer". Thus, it can be considered an "alternate" reference to the current day.

  • 1
    I don't see that implication from the answer you link to. The KSA translation cited there supposedly says that l'chat'chila one should not say "[a]ny mention of the current number" but sometimes "you can say it b'diavad". (But I haven't seen that translation, except as cited there, or the KSA itself.)
    – msh210
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 14:52
  • @msh210 The implication is that as long as any hint leads directly to the correct number, then it is considered counting. Thus it is whatever way the "This is" or "It is" is said would be considered a count. Commented May 14, 2015 at 18:18
  • 1
    הלילה translates to היום? How so?
    – Double AA
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 18:41
  • @DoubleAA I was referring to the English terms that would be translated for the basic meaning. הלילהmeaning "tonight" would also be a valid way of countingas it also says This number is the count of the current day. Commented May 14, 2015 at 22:22
  • @sabbahillel Do you have evidence that הלילה works? How can you conclude that הלילה works from your rule of translations?
    – Double AA
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 23:02

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