Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Mashiah - During Sefirah? Maybe!

gog1.com reports that Rav Mordechai Eliyahu was giving a lecture on Sefirat Ha'Omer. In the middle of the lecture, he discussed whether or not one should say that the Mitzvah of counting the Omer is based on the verse:
וּסְפַרְתֶּם לָכֶם, מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת, מִיּוֹם הֲבִיאֲכֶם, אֶת-עֹמֶר הַתְּנוּפָה: שֶׁבַע שַׁבָּתוֹת, תְּמִימֹת תִּהְיֶינָה. עַד מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת הַשְּׁבִיעִת, תִּסְפְּרוּ חֲמִשִּׁים יוֹם; וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם מִנְחָה חֲדָשָׁה, לַיהוָה
in the Leshaim Yihud that one recites before saying the blessing. Mentioning the verse would imply that the obligation to count nowadays is Biblical, when there is an argument, and most, in fact, hold that the obligation nowadays is only Rabbinical.

Rav Eliyahu said the following:
We are now counting the omer. We said [that the obligation is based on] an argument.
The Mashiah will come in the middle of the time period. Then, we will tell him, "What should we say for the Leshaim Yihud?"

Notice that Rav Eliyahu did not say "If" he will come, nor did he say "May it be Hashem's will" that he will come. Rather, he simply said "He will come".

Slip of the tongue or subliminal revelation?

You decide.

Update: Here's the video if you want to see it.

Also, Yiddishkeit.org provides a translation of the video transcript among the rest of the rabbis' statements.


At Tue May 17, 12:45:00 PM 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, former Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel
(7 Iyar/May 16)

"Today we are counting the Omer, and as we said there is a difference of halachic opinion. Moshiach will come in the middle [of the Omer period] and then we will ask him: 'What do we say about [this mitzvah]? Is it a biblical mitzvah, or just a mitzvah?'

"Why? Moshiach is coming, the Holy Temple is coming -- it's a biblical mitzvah [implying that we will perform the mitzvah of waving the Omer as described in the Torah]. Or, he will tell us: 'No, you needed to bring the Omer [offering] from the beginning [of the seven weeks in order to fulfill the biblical mitzvah], not now.'

Good–then we have a question to ask the Moshiach, which should be speedily in the near future, Amen!"


At Tue May 17, 12:50:00 PM 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Shulchan Arukh's ruling calls into question the text of the introductory "Hineni mukhan u-mezuman" paragraph, recited by many prior to counting the omer. This declaration reads,

"I am hereby prepared and ready to fulfill the positive commandment of sefirat ha-omer, as it is written in the Torah… "

Given the accepted ruling, which views the obligation as rabbinic in nature nowadays, would not such a declaration, stating one's intent to fulfill a Biblical imperative, constitute a form of "bal tosif" - a forbidden addition onto the Torah? (This question becomes particularly troubling according to the Rambam's ruling at the end of the second chapter of Hilkhot Mamrim, that one violates "bal tosif" by referring to a rabbinically ordained obligation as a mitzva from the Torah!)

Accordingly, some authorities have ruled against the recitation of this text. Others suggest emending the text to read as follows: "… to fulfill the mitzva of sefirat ha-omer, and it says in the Torah… " (Rav Ovadya Yosef, Kol Sinai, Iyar-Sivan 5731, and others).


At Tue May 17, 12:53:00 PM 2005, Blogger yaak said...

I was just focusing on the first part of the message, which may be an indication of something he knows.
Thanks for the link. I'll update the post.

At Tue May 17, 12:59:00 PM 2005, Blogger yaak said...

Anonymous #2:
Thanks for that link about Sefira being Biblical or Rabbinical. I am aware of Rav Ovadia's ruling on the matter - he says one should not say the Pasuk in the Leshaim Yihud. I noticed, however, many Sephardic Siddurim that do have the Pasuk in the Leshaim Yihud. I personally follow Rav Ovadia and do not say it.


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