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?

  • Is there any example of Sefeika DeYoma on a Derabanan? (Not counting like Melakha with a Shinui which is part of an overall Deorayta that needs to be repeated so we repeat it in full.)
    – Double AA
    Apr 12, 2018 at 23:20
  • @DoubleAA Firstly, your question assumes that Sefira counting is Derabanan which is itself a point of contention. Second, if the Rabanan say to do X on Y day(s) of the year, and we don't know when Rosh Chodesh is, when do you do it?
    – yydl
    Apr 12, 2018 at 23:32
  • @yydl that's real sefeka deyoma. I'm asking if we find anywhere that after the fixed calendar we still do double on a Derabanan. I can't think of anywhere, but every Deorayta has it.
    – Double AA
    Apr 12, 2018 at 23:34

3 Answers 3


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

Q & A: Sefirat HaOmer – When To Start Counting (Part III)


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.

  • 1
    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, 2014 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, 2014 at 15:15
  • 2
    @DoubleAA Perhaps because the very essence of Shavuos is that it comes after 49 days of the omer.
    – Fred
    Apr 27, 2014 at 17:06
  • The first answer assumes it's a derabannan today, and doesn't help those who hold it's doraisa
    – robev
    Apr 13, 2018 at 2:05

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.

  • This looks like a comment, not an answer.
    – Seth J
    Apr 15, 2013 at 17:20
  • 2
    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, 2013 at 22:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .