June 1, 2005 | Issue 21

Gedolim Mull Making Shavuot Earlier

BORO PARK, BROOKLYN — [TheKnish.com] Area gedolim have been researching whether there is a halachic way of moving Shavuot to earlier in the year. Yeshivah students are no longer taught to count to fifty, thereby causing much confusion during many a Maariv minyan. To resolve this issue, a number of creative solutions have been suggested including:

  • Literally have "Sheva Shavuot" and have the holiday of Shavuot once a week for seven weeks. This would only require counting to seven seven times, which although still difficult, may be doable with some tutoring. This plan has heavy support from the cheesecake lobby.

  • Paskening that "Sheva Shavuot" means seven and Hashem was just stuttering. This plan is the favorite of SLOB (Stuttering Lainers of Brooklyn).

  • Outsourcing Sefirat Haomer to India. This plan is backed by India.
One godol, who will not be named because he is now in chairem, had the audacious suggestion of actually teaching the bochurim to count to fifty. The gedolim called this idea kofer b'ikar as it would be bitul Torah to teach bochurim math. When asked by this TheKnish.com reporter how previous generations managed to count to fifty, the reply was, "Ruach Hashem, Duh!" after which the reporter dutifully received his makot.

The problem has become more pronounced in recent years as the last of the bochurim who can count to fifty have been leaving the derech and becoming accountants. The remaining bochurim have been having trouble calculating what day of the Sefirah it is, let alone calculating the week/day formula. Common arguments occur over issues such as the existence of the number "eleventeen," the existence of two digit numbers and how lag baomer could be both shlosha and shloshim yom at the same time.

In a related psak, some groups have lowered the number of "Echad mi yodeahs" from thirteen to three. This has the added advantage of not chas v'shalom mentioning female names.


Pencil David Friedman has no trouble counting Sefirah. However he is curious to know what x is if e^x = baomer.


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