Forgot to Count at night and remembered during Day

This Halacha is an excerpt from our Sefer

Buy me here or on

Forgot to count at night and remembered during the day:[1]

If one forgot to count the Sefira at night and remembered during the day, he is to count the Sefira during the day without a blessing.[2]

Until when at night can one count with a blessing?[3] One may count at night with a blessing until Alos Hashachar/dawn. Once dawn has arrived, one can no longer count with a blessing.


When is Alos Hashachar/dawn?

There are various calculations and opinions for when the time of Alos Hashachar begins. The opinions fluctuate between a maximum of two fluctuating hours before sunrise to a minimum of 72 fluctuating minutes before sunrise.[4] Practically, one is to be stringent like all opinions.[5] Thus, regarding Sefiras Haomer, one is to be stringent to consider Alos Hashachar to begin approximately two fluctuating[6] hours prior to sunrise.[7]


Continuing to count with a blessing in the event that one counted during the day:[8] 

If one forgot to count at night and counted during the day without a blessing, as explained in Halacha 19, then he has not forfeited the blessing of the future nights and may thus continue to count with a blessing on the following nights.[9] This applies whether one forgot to count the Sefira of the first night and counted during the day or whether one forgot to count the Sefira of any other night and then counted during the day.[10] [Due to this, it is customary in certain communities for the Chazzan of Shacharis to announce the Sefirah after Davening, in order to remind one who forgot to count the previous night.[11] If one counted the during the day only the days or only the weeks, in one of the middle days [1-6, 8-13] he may nevertheless continue counting with a blessing.[12]]


[1] Admur 489:3; Siddur Admur; Michaber 489:7; Tosafus Megillah 20b; Menachos 66a; Rosh Pesachim 10:41


If one forgot to count at night and remembered during the day it is disputed as to whether he may now count the Sefira with a blessing. This dispute is based on the Mishnaic dispute regarding if the Omer offering may be harvested during the day of the 16th if it was not harvested on the night of the 16th.

First Mishneh:opinion: Some say [Stam Mishneh in Menachos 71a] that if the Omer was not cut at night then it is valid to cut it during the day. {Now, based on this Mishneh, some Poskim [Bahag Atzeres 30:4; Meiri Megillah 2-see 2nd opinion for other ways of learning] rule that this same ruling would apply to the Mitzvah of counting the Omer, as the Mitzvah of counting the Omer is based on the Mitzvah of harvesting the Omer.} Therefore, if one forgot, or purposely, did not count at night then he is obligated to count by day with a blessing. [2nd opinion in Admur ibid] As just as the Omer could be cut by day if it was not cut by night, similarly the counting can be done by day if it was not done by night. [It is evident from Admur ibid, as well as other Poskim [Nehar Shalom in Biur Halacha 489:8 “Belo Bracha”], that even according to this opinion, there is an obligation to count Sefira specifically at night, and it is only if one forgot that he can make it up during the day. See however Biur Halacha 489:8 “Belo Bracha” that the Nehar Shalom holds that according to this opinion the Mitzvah applies for a full 24 hours, even though the main Mitzvah is at night, although the Biur Halacha himself concludes that perhaps even according to this opinion, the day is only a Tashlumin of the night.]

Second Mishneh:Opinion: There are other opinions who argue on the above ruling. [Admur ibid] This is based on the Stam Mishneh [in Megillah 20:2] that writes that the cutting of the Omer is valid only during the night and cannot be cut by day. Consequently, according to this Mishneh one likewise cannot count during the day, and hence there is no need to count during the day, even without a blessing. Practically, some Poskim [Rabbeinu Tam in Megillah ibid] rule that this Mishneh is more authoritative than the previous Mishneh and thus this is the Halacha. Alternatively, even according to the first Mishneh in Menachos there is no need to count during the day even without a blessing, as in this regard the laws of Sefira differ from the laws of the harvest of the Omer, as the Sefirah must be Temimos, and it is not Temimos unless one begins to count during the night. [Rabbeinu Tam ibid; mentioned in M”A 489:13; both of these reasons of the dissenting opinion is omitted by Admur. Vetzaruch Iyun why Admur chose to omit the reasons of this opinion. To note however that in this same Halacha Admur writes Temimos as the reason behind why one must begin counting at night.]

Final Ruling: Practically, due to the above dispute, one is to count by day without a blessing, being that Safek Brachos Lihakel. [Admur ibid following the ruling of Michaber ibid; conclusion of Tosafus ibid, unlike Rabbeinu Tam; and so writes the Bach that so is the custom; See Kaf Hachaim 489:79]

[2] The reason: As this matter is disputed in Poskim and we rule Safek Brachos Lihakel in a case of doubt. [ibid]

[3] Admur 489:3; Siddur Admur; Michaber 489:1; See above Halacha 3

[4] Rulings of Admur: Admur wrote different calculations regarding Alos Hashachar throughout the Shulchan Aruch, Siddur and Tanya. This created confusion as to Admur’s opinion as to the time of Alos Hashachar. From 89:1, 184:3, and 261:5 it is calculated that Alos Hashachar is 72 minutes before sunrise, or possibly 96 minutes. In 249:3, 459:10 and the Siddur [Seder Hachnasas Shabbos] it can be calculated that Alos Hashachar is 96 minutes or 120 minutes before sunrise. From the time of Alos mentioned in the Siddur regarding Sefiras Haomer it is possible to calculate it as 72 or 120 minutes. In Igeres Hateshuvah 3 Admur extends the time of starting a fast to three hours before sunrise. The following are the opinions of Chabad Rabbanim in this matter:

Opinion of Admur according to the Gra”ch Naah-Two fluctuating hours: Rav Avraham Chaim Naah ruled that according to Admur, Alos Hashachar begins two fluctuating hours prior to sunrise. [Shiureiy Tziyon 37; Yagdil Torah Tzemach Tzedek 23 p. 23] The calculation is as follows: There are 5 Mil between Alos and Neitz [as rules Ula in Pesachim 93b]. Each Mil is 24 minutes [as rules Rambam in Pirush Hamishnayos Pesachim 3:2]. Thus 24 minutes per Mil x 5 Mil between Alos and Neitz equals 120 minutes. [This follows the ruling of Admur in 249:3; 459:10 and Siddur and so rules regarding 24 minutes per Mil: Peri Chadash Y.D. 69:26; Kitzur SHU”A 36:11. However, in 89:1 and 261:5 Admur rules that there is only 4 Mil between Alos and sunrise, hence there is only 96 minutes between Alos and sunrise. As well, although in 459:10 Admur rules that the day begins from sunrise and ends by sunset, in 89:1 he rules that it begins from Alos until nightfall. Nevertheless, the final ruling of Admur follows the ruling of the Siddur in which Admur rules like in 459:10.]

Other opinions amongst Chabad Rabbanim: See article of Rav Raskin in Siddur Miluim 27 for a summary of opinions of Chabad Rabbanim regarding the time of Alos Hashachar according to Admur. The opinions vary between 120 minutes, 72 minutes, 90 minutes and 96 minutes.

Opinion of Shulchan Aruch and majority of Poskim-72 minutes: Some Poskim rule Alos Hashachar begins 72 minutes prior to sunrise. [Rashal Pesachim 2a; Minchas Kohen 2:6; M”A 89:2; Levush 261 and 459; Admur in 89:1, 184:3, and 261:5; Derech Hachaim; M”B 89 in Biur Halacha “Veim”; 58 Biur Halacha “Kemo”; and chapters: 92; 163; 235; 261; 459] This is based on the calculation that there are 18 minutes per Mil [as rules Terumos Hadeshen 123; Michaber 459:2; Yoreh Deah 69:6; Rama 261:1; Admur in 89:1, 184:3, and 261:5] and there are 4 Mil between Alos and Neitz [as rules Rebbe Yehuda in Pesachim 93b]

Opinion of some Achronim-90 minutes: Some Poskim rule Alos Hashachar begins 90 minutes prior to sunrise. [Gr”a 459; Chok Yaakov 459:10; Chasam Sofer in glosses 89] This is based on the calculation that there are 22.5 minutes per Mil [as rules Maharil in Hilchos Pesach] and there are 4 Mil between Alos and Neitz [as rules Rebbe Yehuda in Pesachim 93b]

[5] Shiureiy Tziyon ibid

[6] Definition of fluctuating hours: This means that the hours fluctuate in the winter and summer. Some Poskim rule this means it fluctuates in terms of Zmaniyos, meaning that it depends on the amount of hours in the day. Thus, in the summer, the hours will be longer [between 120-150 minutes for two hours] while in the winter they will be shorter [between 90-120 minutes for two hours]. [So rules Minchas Cohen 2:6; Rama 233; Peri Chadash 58] However the Alter Rebbe and Gr”a both rule that it follows not the amount of hours in the day but rather the degree of distance of the sun from the horizon. [Admur in Seder Hachnasas Shabbos; Gr”a in 261; See Shut Maharshag 2:34 quoted in Piskeiy Teshuvos 89:2 footnote 59 that this is the way we rule.] Thus, those who hold that Alos is 72 minutes it ends up being in Tishrei and Nissan 16.1 degrees from the horizon and the amount of time it takes the sun to travel to the horizon fluctuates between winter and summer. [See Piskeiy Teshuvos 89:2] According to Admur however who holds of 120 minutes, this would be when the sun is 26 degrees below the horizon.

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule we always measure the hours as set hours and hence there will always be only 120:90:72 minutes between Alos and sunrise at all times. [Admur 89:1; Birkeiy Yosef 261:1; Peri Megadim 261 A”A 9; Derech Hachaim; Siddur Yaavetz; Machatzis Hashekel 235:3]

[7] Ruling of Harav Hagaon Avraham Chaim Naah, printed in Shiureiy Tziyon 37; Yagdil Torah Tzemach Tzedek 23 p. 23 [see there for a full organized summary on the subject]; See previous footnote for understanding of other Chabad Poskim in Admur. Practically, one is to be stringent to suspect for this opinion.

[8] Admur 489:24; Terumos Hadeshen 37; Levush 489:8; Olas Shabbos 489:8; Chok Yosef 489:24; Mateh Yosef; Birkeiy Yosef 489:17; Nehar Shalom; Mamar Mordechai 489:9; Shalmei Tzibur 297:26; Zechor Leavraham 489:70; Chayeh Adam 121:2; Beis Oved 18; M”B 489:34; Kaf Hachaim 489:80

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that in such a case one is to count the future nights without a blessing. [Peri Chadash 489:7; See Peri Chadash 489:7-8 who is stringent regarding the case of one who counted by day, although is lenient in the case of Sfek Sfeka if one counted by night. It seems clear that the Peri Chadash accepts Safek Sfeika Brachos Lihakeil at least in this case, while in other cases he holds Lehachmir. Vetzaruch Iyun on his opinion.] This follows the ruling that even by Sfek Sfeka we say Lihakel, and so rules regarding Sfek Sfeika: Lechem Chamudos Tzitzis 1; Mateh Efraim 619:7; Kitzur SHU”A 131:17; P”M Yoreh Deah 18 M”Z 16; Birkeiy Yosef 7:3; See Kaf Hachaim 17:7; and so is the final ruling of Admur in His Siddur as brought in Ketzos Hashulchan 7 footnote 3; Piskeiy Hassidur 42; Toras Menachem 5719 pages 230-233; See next footnote!

[9] The reason: The reason for why a blessing may be said when counting on the following nights, is because even according to those opinions who rule that if one missed the counting of a day he has lost the Mitzvah, in this case they agree that he did not lose the Mitzvah by missing one night being that he counted that Sefira the next day. Thus, even in their opinion, the Sefira for this individual is considered “Temimos:complete” being that one is counting all 49 days. Now, although there are opinions who rule that the counting is only valid at night, and hence if one forgot to count at night he is not obligated to count during the day, and accordingly even if one counted during the day it is meaningless and does not help make up the previous nights missed count for the completion of counting 49 days. Nevertheless, there are opinions who rule that even if one did not count at all an entire day, or even many days, he may nevertheless continue counting with a blessing on the other nights. [Admur ibid] In other words, although according to the joint opinions of invalidating the day count and invaliding the future count if one missed a day, one is no longer able to count, nevertheless, since this approach is based on a dispute in two different points of argument it therefore has the status of a Safek Sfeka, in which case we rule that not only must one continue to count, but he may even do so with a blessing. The Safek Sfeka is as follows: Perhaps the day count is valid, and even if it is not valid, perhaps each day is a separate Mitzvah. To note of a further interesting point: The two disputes regarding whether one must continue to count even if he missed a day and the dispute regarding whether one must count during the day if he missed at night, are both between the Bahag and other Poskim. According to the Bahag, one may count by day, but if he missed a full day then he may no longer count. The other Poskim [Tosafus] rule the opposite, that he cannot count during the day, but if he missed a day he can continue to count. Hence, without even entering into the concept of a Sfek Sfeka, one can say that it is permitted to continue counting with a blessing, as no matter who you hold like they each agree that in this case you can continue counting, just for different reasons. The Bahag says you can continue counting because you counted by day, the other Poskim say you can continue counting because each day is a separate Mitzvah.   

Tzaruch Iyun from previous ruling: In 489:12 Admur rules that if one casually overheard the counting of another person, without any particular intent of being Yotzei or not being Yotzei, he is to repeat the Sefira without a blessing. Vetzaruch Iyun as to why a blessing is not allowed due to this case being a Sfek Sfeka of a blessing, as ruled in 489:24: The Sfek Sfeka is as follows: 1) Perhaps one must always count himself, as rules some Poskim in 489:1. 2) Even if one may hear someone else count, perhaps he must have intention to fulfill his obligation? Furthermore, in the case of Admur 489:12 a third doubt added, as it refers to one who heard the count by Bein Hashmashos, and hence perhaps it was not even night and according to all he has not fulfilled his obligation! Vetzaruch Iyun! Perhaps however one can answer that there is a difference between the forms of Sfek Sfekas in this case and in the case in 489:24 [as brought in Yoreh Deah 110-111, and ruled in Admur 438:9] that a Sfek Sfeka is only given value when the two doubts each come with a separate claim, and thus there are two different claims for why one may continue counting Sefira. When however, both doubts are making the same claim, that one was already Yotzei the Sefira, then we consider it all one doubt, and rule Safek Brachos Lihakel. Thus, in 489:12 that all the doubts create the single claim of “he was already Yotzei”, it does not help to remove the Safek Brachos Lihakel rule from implementation. However, in 489:24 in which the doubts are two different claims, [perhaps yesterdays count was valid and even if it isn’t perhaps today’s count is valid] we implement the rule of Sfek Sfeka which overrides the Safek Bracha Lihakel.  Alternatively, one can say that the doubts of Bein Hashmashos and hearing Sefira are not a true doubt as the final ruling is that we are lenient in this matter, and hence in the case in 489:12 is really only a case of one doubt. 

Tzaruch Iyun from Siddur: In the Siddur there are scenarios of Safek Sfeka in which Admur rules stringently that a blessing may not be said, despite the Safek Sfeka. [See Siddur regarding saying a blessing on a Tallis during Bein Hashmashos] In Toras Menachem 5719 pages 230-233 the Rebbe states based on this ruling that according to Admur in the Siddur we apply the rule of Safek Brachos Lihakel even by a Sfek Sfeka, and so writes Ketzos Hashulchan 7 footnote 3. Thus, the question is asked regarding if the final ruling in this case should also change, and based on the Siddur one should rule that a blessing should not to be said? One cannot answer that which was said previously, that there is a difference between a Safek Sfeka which makes the same claim and a Safek Sfeka that makes two different claims, as in the case of the Siddur there are two different claims, perhaps the Mitzvah of Tzitzis applies at night, and even if it doesn’t perhaps it is not yet night. Vetzaruch Iyun! See Igros Kodesh 18:339 who concludes “Although one can challenge this ruling based on the many Poskim who rule Sfek Sfeika Lihakel, nevertheless, we will not swerve from the clear ruling in Shulchan Aruch simply due to a question.”

[10] Admur ibid; Peri Chadash 489 based on Michaber 489:8; and so is implied from Setimas Haposkim [Kaf Hachaim 489:81]

[11] Kaf Hachaim 489:80

[12] Hisorerus Teshuvah 2:93; See Halacha 7!

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?

You must be logged in to post a comment.