Halacha for Monday 26 Nissan 5780 April 20 2020

More Customs Observed During the Omer Counting Period

Some have the custom that during the Omer counting period (until the 34th day of the Omer), one does not wear a new garment which requires the recitation of the “Shehecheyanu” blessing (i.e. a new garment which causes the wearer joy, such as a new shirt and the like; however, a new garment which does not require a “Shehecheyanu” blessing, such as an undershirt and the like, may be worn during the Omer period according to all opinions). Some rule leniently and allow wearing new clothing.

Some act stringently and abstain from sewing and altering new clothes during the Omer period; however, our custom is to be lenient in this regard. Even according to those who are customarily stringent, nevertheless, if this is being done for a bride or groom who is getting married on the 34th day of the Omer, there is no custom to be stringent at all.

According to Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l, there is no reason to be stringent and abstain from reciting a “Shehecheyanu” blessing on a new fruit during the Omer counting period. Those who have observed this custom have done so in error, for they have confused this period with the “Three Weeks” prior to the Ninth of Av during which time one should not recite a “Shehecheyanu” blessing on a new fruit. However, during the Omer counting period, there is no such custom to be stringent, for the days of the Omer are not days of mourning as are the “Three Weeks” during which the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash and other tragedies occurred. It is for this reason that it is inappropriate to recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing which translates to “Blessed is He… Who has allowed us to live, to exist, and to reach this time” about a period which is designated as a time of national tragedy. On the other hand, the period of the Omer is not considered a tragic time; on the contrary, the Ramban writes that the holiness of the days of the Omer counting is tantamount to that of Chol Hamo’ed. There is therefore no reason to act stringently in this regard.

Nonetheless, it is proper to act stringently with regards to wearing new garments during the Omer. If there is truly a necessity to wear a new garment, one should try to wear it on Shabbat in which case one may also recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing. Similarly, one may act leniently and wear a new garment during the Omer period in honor of a Bar Mitzvah or Berit Milah celebration.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Lighting the Chanukah Candles

The Mitzvah of Lighting Chanukah Candles There is a Mitzvah to light Chanukah candles throughout all eight nights of Chanukah (beginning from next Thursday night). The Sephardic custom is to light one set of Chanukah candles per house. The Ashkenazi custom, however, is that every member of the hous......

Read Halacha

Melaveh Malka

Question: Is one obligated to eat bread on Motza’ei Shabbat for the fourth Shabbat meal which is also referred to as “Melaveh Malka” (meal escorting out the Shabbat Queen)? Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Shabbat (119b) tells us that one should always set one’s table nicely......

Read Halacha

The Customary Order of Rosh Hashanah

It is customary to eat certain symbolic foods during the two nights of Rosh Hashanah which signify good fortune for the entire upcoming year. It is therefore customary to eat black-eyed peas, pumpkin, leek, spinach, dates, pomegranates, apples dipped in honey, and meat of a sheep’s head on the......

Read Halacha

Moving an Electric Blanket or Fan on Shabbat

Question: May one use an electric blanket (heating pad) on Shabbat or is it prohibited to be moved due to the prohibition of Muktzeh? Similarly, may one turn a fan to another direction on Shabbat? Answer: In the previous Halachot we have discussed several laws of Muktzeh on Shabbat which are obje......

Read Halacha


A Tool Used for Work Prohibited on Shabbat

In the previous Halachot, we have discussed the basic laws of Muktzeh on Shabbat which is that there are certain objects our Sages prohibited moving on Shabbat. Utensils or tools which are used for types of work that are permitted on Shabbat may be moved for any purpose. Thus, one may move forks, kn......

Read Halacha

“Muktzeh Due to Monetary Loss”

In the previous Halachot, we have discussed several laws regarding Muktzeh which are certain objects that our Sages prohibited moving on Shabbat. As of yet, we have discussed three types of Muktzeh: “Utensils used for work permitted on Shabbat”, such as forks, knives, and the like, wh......

Read Halacha

Moving Books and Newspapers on Shabbat

Question: Is one permitted to move or read medical books or phonebooks on Shabbat? What is the law regarding reading newspapers on Shabbat? The Opinion of Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch Regarding Reading Books on Mundane and Forbidden Topics Answer: Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 307, S......

Read Halacha

The Blessings on Thunder and Lightning

One who sees lightning recites the blessing, “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Ha’Olam Oseh Ma’aseh Bereshit.” One who hears thunder recites the blessing, “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Ha’Olam She’Kocho Ugvurato Maleh Olam.” Until When Can On......

Read Halacha