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Beit Midrash Shabbat and Holidays The Laws of Sefirat Ha'omer

What Are the Different Customs for Observing the "Sefira?"

Rabbi Stewart WeissNissan 13 5781
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In commemoration of the death of Rabbi Akiva's 24,000 students, we observe 33 days of semi-mourning between Pesach & Shavuot (as the students died for 33 days, until the fever broke). The 3 prevalent customs are:

1) From the start of the Omer (this Sun. Night) until Lag B'Omer; 2) From 2 Iyar until Erev Shavuot; 3) From Rosh Chodesh Iyar until the 3rd day before Shavuot.

Any of the 3 customs are acceptable, & may be changed from year to year if so desired (says Rav Moshe Feinstein).Rav Moshe also rules that guests invited to a wedding (or to the Sheva Brachot following) that falls outside their minhag may attend the Simcha & still maintain their personal count without interruption, as the wedding is a "personal Yom Tov" for Chatan & Kallah, who "draw after them" friends & family, regardless of the Minhag they follow.
Rabbi Stewart Weiss
Was ordained at the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois, and led congregations in Chicago and Dallas prior to making Aliyah in 1992. He directs the Jewish Outreach Center in Ra'anana, helping to facilitate the spiritual absorption of new olim.
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