Counting the Omer

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Dear Rabbi Simon,
I just now remembered to count the Omer from last night! In looking at my watch, I see that it is now 20:07, and sunset (according to my app) is 20:05. However I think that I actually began the counting (with the short declaration of intent, “behold I am prepared and ready…”) at 20:04, ie just before sunset. Am I considered to have missed the day of counting, or have I fulfilled the mitzvah (albeit quite belatedly) and therefore I can continue counting night by night with a blessing every time until Shavuot. (For the purposes of this Q I am generously assuming that I will remember every night from now on.)
TY for your reply, as I need to know if I can count 10 days of the ‘Omer after dark tonight!
Moshe

Dear Moshe
TY for your timely Q. The answer is that you may/should continue to count with a berachah. The posekim say that this is a case of a s’fek s’feika (a “double doubt”): Perhaps the halakhah is in accordance with the (majority) opinion that one may/should recite a beracha every night, even if s/he has forgotten one or more day along the way. And in addition, a few minutes after sunset (at least 9, and probably up to 20 minutes or more) may still be regarded as belonging to the previous day (in which case you have indeed performed the mitzvah for yesterday, even if you narrowly missed the moment of sunset itself).
I hope this is helpful, and may even be the answer you were counting on.
Rabbi Simon

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Ask the Rabbi: Easy as א-ב-ג?
Dear Rabbi Simon,
I hope you fasted well yesterday.
Thank you for the insights into the Kinnot, making them easier to understand.
In the afternoon, I was listening to a shiur on Eichah on Torahanytime.  As an aside, the speaker mentioned that the 1st perek of Eichah is the source for the order of the alef bet as we know it.  Other chapters also follow the alef bet chronology but with ayin en peh interchanged.
He quoted Rabbi Shimon Schwab as his source.
Although he did not elaborate on this, surely Sefer Tehillim predates Megillat Eichah by centuries.  Several psalms are written in the alef bet order (e.g.
psalm 119).
Can you please clarify?
Thank you & best wishes.
PhilippeHi Philippe
***
TY for your sophisticated Q.
I have also heard that the question of the sequence of samekh and 'ayin is subject to dispute. It seems that there are indications that in Paleo-Hebrew the order is reversed from what we know. It is alleged that chapters 2, 3 and 4 of Eichah (chapter 5 is not alphabetical) reflect the original order. Of course, as you say, ch 1 conforms to the order with which we are family.
You are right that Tehillim predates Eichah, however a critic can claim that the order was redacted to bring it in line with the accepted/preferred sequence. This is particularly true for ch. 119, where each of the 8 vv per letter are their own group, and each set of 8 vv. can easily be repositioned. The question is in Ps. 34 or 145, if the internal logic of the passage sheds light on the correct sequence. In Ps. 34, some claim that the v. starting with the letter peh makes more sense to follow the verse starting with samekh (due to the common appearance of the word ra'). I am not convinced that this argument is compelling.
I will stick with the mesorah, that 'ayin belongs before peh. Best to look before speaking.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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