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Bound By Time?

Recently I have been posting about "Belief". However, there is a Ramban that is simply unbelievable! The Ramban says that counting the omer is NOT A TIME BOUND MITZVA and therefore women are obligated just as men are.

Excuse me?????????? In the Torah it says that we count from the second day of Pesach until Shavuous. That seems to be a time period. Yes indeed. This mitzva is bound by time!!!!!!!!!! We cannot count during Teves or Adar. Only during the time period clearly demarcated by the Torah. Not before and not after.

Then again, we cannot properly learn Chumash without the Ramban. We cannot properly learn Gemara without the Ramban. In the Jewish Quarter of the Old City you can't even get a minyan without the Ramban! The Ramban was, as the youngsters say today, "The Man".

So what does "The Man" mean????????

If we hold that counting the omer nowadays is Rabbinical then women would be obligated just like men.

The principle of time related mitzvot applies only if there is a “Gezerat Hakatuv.” However, if it depends on something differant, “davar acher garam loh”, then it is not time related.

The time of the beginning of sifira is only known in relation to the sacrifice of the omer. Thus, women should be obligated to count the sefira.

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The Chachmas Shlomo in Orach Chaim 426 (as explained in Higyonei Halacha) explains that one of the conditions of a mitzvah aseh shehazman gramah is that the Chaifetz the the mitzvah is done with, must be in existence all year. Only then does the time Gorem the performance of the mitzvah. For example, one can eat hypothetically eat Matzah all year but the mitzvah commands us to eat on Pesach.

From this explanation it is clear that Sefirah does not fall into the category of mitzvah aseh shehazma ngramah. With Sefirah, the mitzvah is to count, and there is no object that is around all year. Rather, time is the essence of the mitzvah but doesn’t cause us to perform it during one time or another.

Others explain (Divrei Malchial) that it is merely a Taut Sofrim and the Ramban meant to qualify Sefirah as a mitzvah aseh shehazman gramah.

When I learned the above Chachmas Shlomo, I thought that this is consistent with the Ramban’s explanation of mitzvah aseh shehazman gramah by the mother’s petur of giving her son a bris (Kidisuhin daf 29). There the Ramban explains that the mother’s obligation or lack of obligation does not fall under the general category of mitzvah aseh shehazman gramah because mitzvah aseh shehazman gramah only applies when mitzvah is being done to oneself (Mitzvos Gufayhu) and not to someone else. This statement is slightly unclear and there are many ways to explain this but it seems apparent that by the parents chiyuv regarding the bris, the parent is doing the mitzvah on someone else (the child) and therefore, according to the Ramban, the mother is not patur because of mitzvah aseh shehazman gramah, but rather because of another reason explained by the Gemarah. Is it possible that the explanation of Rav SHlomo Kluger to explain sefirah is consistent with the Ramban’s explanation by bris and therefore it is the Ramban “Leshitaso”??

Dearest friends!

Yehuda - The Rishonim say that women are patur even from mitzvos aseh shehazman grama drabanan.

Gershon - Excellent answer.

Aharon - I like the chochmas shlomo but in my puniness didn't understand how it relates to the ramban on mila.

Also the divrei malkiel was mistaken!! [bmchila mkvodo] A few years ago, many years after the passing of the d.m. a manuscript was published from the son of the maharam chalava WHO WAS A TALMID of the Ramban where the Ramban is quoted a saying that it is aino zman grama. So it is clearly not a printers error. [Heard from Rav Asher Weiss Shlita]

i think it was rav chaim of brisk who tried to explain that the ramban thinks that sfirat haomer has nothing to do with the date of the 16th of nissan, but rather with the fact that on that day the korban omer was to be given, and that is what actually kick-started sfirah. and that works with what yehuda said-that sfira today is drabanan, due to lack of korban omer.

Morah, if you keep throwing Rav Chaim's at me I will get you a job as a Maggid Shiur in Netiv Aryeh!

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  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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