Vayikra 23:15 talks about complete/perfect (תמימת) Shabbats.

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

This seem to imply that there are also incomplete/imperfect Shabbats because of the word duality principle. What does this incomplete/imperfect Shabbat mean?

  • Why the -1? [15]
    – DonielF
    Oct 31 '17 at 18:34

In context, the verse refers to counting the Omer. The full verse reads:

וּסְפַרְתֶּ֤ם לָכֶם֙ מִמָּחֳרַ֣ת הַשַּׁבָּ֔ת מִיּוֹם֙ הֲבִ֣יאֲכֶ֔ם אֶת־עֹ֖מֶר הַתְּנוּפָ֑ה שֶׁ֥בַע שַׁבָּת֖וֹת תְּמִימֹ֥ת תִּהְיֶֽינָה׃

You will count for yourselves from after the Sabbath, from the day on which the Omer of waving is brought; seven complete Sabbaths shall there be.

Rashi to the verse, quoting Menachos 66a, notes:

תמימת תהיינה. מְלַמֵּד שֶׁמַּתְחִיל וּמוֹנֶה מִבָּעֶרֶב, שֶׁאִם לֹא כֵּן אֵינָן תְּמִימוֹת

“Complete shall they be” - This teaches that one must begin counting in the evening, because if this is not the case, they will not be complete.

Given this teaching, it would appear that שבת as used in the verse refers to “weeks” rather than literally “Sabbaths.”

In summary, “complete” teaches that one must count at night; if he counts during the day, it can’t be considered complete, as he missed the previous night.

  • I don't know that this is accurate. It's the ability to count at night which makes it complete. If he counted during the day who said it's not complete?
    – Double AA
    Oct 31 '17 at 19:31
  • It's an interesting question. The word "Shabbat" in this context means "week". It seems, then, by definition that the definition of a "week" means a full 7 days and not even an hour less than that, right? Could it possibly be concerned of the mikzat hayom kekulo implication? I.e. the reason for the word temimot is to prevent someone from using that rule?
    – DanF
    Oct 31 '17 at 22:06
  • @DanF That’s an interesting possibility.
    – DonielF
    Oct 31 '17 at 22:32

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