הרי הוא אומר תספור לך ספירה תלויה בבית דין יצתה שבת בראשית שספירתה בכל אדם as the verse states: “Seven weeks you shall number for you; from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain you shall begin to number seven weeks” (Deuteronomy 16:9). By using the term “for you,” the verse indicates that the counting of the weeks is dependent upon the decision of the court, as they know how to calculate the new months. This serves to exclude the possibility that the counting starts after the Shabbat of Creation, whose counting can be performed by every person, not only the court.
רבי יוסי אומר ממחרת השבת ממחרת יום טוב אתה אומר ממחרת יו"ט או אינו אלא ממחרת שבת בראשית אמרת וכי נאמר ממחרת השבת שבתוך הפסח והלא לא נאמר אלא ממחרת השבת דכל השנה כולה מלאה שבתות צא ובדוק איזו שבת Rabbi Yosei says that the verse: “And you shall count for you from the morrow after the day of rest [hashabbat]” (Leviticus 23:15), means from the morrow after the festival of Passover. Do you say it means from the morrow after the festival of Passover, or is it only referring to from the morrow after Shabbat of Creation, i.e., Sunday? You can say in response: Is it stated: From the morrow after the day of rest [hashabbat] that is during Passover? No, it is stated only: “From the morrow after the day of rest [hashabbat].” Considering that the entire year is full of Shabbatot, go and try to examine to which Shabbat the verse is referring. How does one know which Shabbat this means? Clearly, then, this “day of rest” is the Festival, not Shabbat.
ועוד נאמרה שבת למטה ונאמרה שבת למעלה מה להלן רגל ותחילת רגל אף כאן רגל ותחילת רגל Rabbi Yosei cites another proof: And furthermore, it is stated “shabbat” below, with regard to the festival of Shavuot (Leviticus 23:16), and it is also stated “shabbat” above (Leviticus 23:15), with regard to starting the counting of the omer. Just as below, with regard to the festival of Shavuot, it is stated: “Even until the morrow after the seventh week [shabbat] you shall number fifty days,” and the word shabbat is referring to a time at the beginning of the Festival; so too here, with regard to the bringing of omer, the word shabbat means Festival, and the counting starts near the beginning of the Festival, on the second day of Passover. According to the Boethusians, sometimes the commencement of the counting is well after the start of Passover.
רבי שמעון בן אלעזר אומר כתוב אחד אומר (דברים טז, ח) ששת ימים תאכל מצות וכתוב אחד אומר (שמות יב, טו) שבעת ימים מצות תאכלו הא כיצד מצה שאי אתה יכול לאוכלה שבעה מן החדש אתה יכול לאוכלה ששה מן החדש The baraita continues: Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says there is yet another proof: One verse states: “Six days you shall eat unleavened bread” (Deuteronomy 16:8), and one verse states: “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread” (Exodus 12:15). How can these texts be reconciled? Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar explains that there is matza that you are unable to eat for all seven days of Passover, due to the prohibition of harvesting and eating from the new crop of grain that ripened before Passover until after the omer offering. But you are able to eat that same matza for six days, although it is from the new crop, as it is permitted after the bringing of the omer offering on the second day of Passover. This resolution of the verses is possible only if the omer offering is brought on the sixteenth of Nisan, not on any other date.
(ויקרא כג, טו) מיום הביאכם תספרו יכול יקצור ויביא ואימתי שירצה יספור Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar clarifies another two verses that deal with the counting of the omer: “And you shall count for you from the morrow after the day of rest, from the day that you brought the sheaf [omer] of the waving; seven weeks there shall be complete; even until the morrow after the seventh week you shall number fifty days; and you shall present a new meal offering to the Lord” (Leviticus 23:15–16). One might have thought that although one must harvest and bring the omer meal offering on the second day of Passover, the sixteenth of Nisan, he may start to count the omer from whenever he wishes after that day.
תלמוד לומר (דברים טז, ט) מהחל חרמש בקמה תחל לספור אי מהחל חרמש תחל לספור יכול יקצור ויספור ואימתי שירצה יביא תלמוד לומר מיום הביאכם Therefore, the verse states: “Seven weeks you shall number for you; from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain you shall begin to number seven weeks” (Deuteronomy 16:9). This verse indicates that the counting should commence upon the reaping of the grain for the omer offering. If one would read just this verse: “From the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain you shall begin to number,” one might have thought that one can harvest and count and then bring the omer offering whenever he wishes. Therefore, the other verse states: “From the day that you brought the sheaf of the waving…you shall number fifty days,” indicating that the counting should start on the day the omer offering is brought.
אי מיום הביאכם יכול יקצור ויספור ויביא ביום תלמוד לומר (ויקרא כג, טו) שבע שבתות תמימות תהיינה אימתי אתה מוצא שבע שבתות תמימות בזמן שאתה מתחיל לימנות מבערב If one would derive the halakha from this verse: “From the day that you brought the sheaf of the waving,” one might have thought that he should harvest and count and bring the omer offering during the day, not on the night of the sixteenth of Nisan. Therefore, the verse states: “From the day that you brought the sheaf of the waving; seven weeks there shall be complete.” When do you find that there are seven complete weeks? You find it at the time when you begin to count from the evening. Only if the counting commences at night, at the start of the sixteenth of Nisan, will the seven weeks of counting be complete, without missing that first evening.
יכול יקצור ויביא ויספור בלילה תלמוד לומר מיום הביאכם הא כיצד קצירה וספירה בלילה והבאה ביום If so, one might have thought that all of the rites of the omer should be at night, and therefore one should harvest and bring the omer offering and start to count at night. Therefore the verse states: From the day that you brought the sheaf of the waving. How can these texts be reconciled? Does one start at night or in the day? Harvesting and counting should be performed at night, and the bringing of the omer offering is during the day.
אמר רבא כולהו אית להו פירכא בר מתרתי תנאי בתראי בין במתניתא קמייתא בין במתניתא בתרייתא דלית להו פירכא § The Gemara has presented two baraitot with ten proofs between them countering the Boethusian claim that the counting of the omer begins on the Sunday after Passover. Rava said: For all of the suggested proofs there is a possible refutation except for those of the two last tanna’im cited, both in the first baraita and in the second baraita, for which there is no refutation.
אי מדרבן יוחנן בן זכאי דלמא כדאביי דאמר אביי מצוה למימני יומי ומצוה למימני שבועי Rava elaborates: If one seeks to prove from that which Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai said, that there is a contradiction between two verses, as one indicates that there is an obligation to count fifty days and another that the obligation is to count seven weeks, perhaps this contradiction can be resolved in accordance with the statement of Abaye. As Abaye said: It is a mitzva to count days, and it is also a mitzva to count seven weeks. When one counts, he should track both the number of days and the number of weeks.
אי מדרבי אליעזר ורבי יהושע ממאי דביום טוב ראשון קאי דלמא ביו"ט אחרון קאי Rabbi Eliezer derived that the counting is dependent upon the court, not the individual. Therefore, he claimed that when the verse mentions shabbat it must be referring to the Festival, not a regular Shabbat, which does not require a court for its determination. Rabbi Yehoshua derived that just as the counting and sanctifying of the New Moon is performed at a distinct time, so too the counting of the omer and start of Shavuot that follows must occur on a specific date. Rava refutes both of these claims: If the proof is from that which Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua said, granted that their proofs successfully demonstrate that the counting should start after the Festival, not after Shabbat, but from where does one know that it is referring to the first day of the Festival? Perhaps it is referring to the last day of the Festival, i.e., the seventh day of Passover?
דרבי ישמעאל ור' יהודה בן בתירא לית להו פירכא Rava now addresses the statements of the final two the tanna’im cited in the first baraita: With regard to the proof given by Rabbi Yishmael from the two loaves that are brought at the beginning of a Festival, and the proof mentioned by Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira from the usage of the word shabbat in connection with Shavuot, Rava said: They have no refutation.
אי מדרבי יוסי בר' יהודה הוה אמינא דלמא חמשין לבר מהני שיתא Continuing with the proofs of the tanna’im from the second baraita, Rava said: If one seeks to disprove the Boethusian claim from that which Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Yehuda, said, that if the counting starts from Shabbat then Shavuot can occur anywhere from fifty to fifty-six days from the date the counting had started the previous year, I would say that perhaps the verse means fifty days excluding these six extra days.
אי מדר' יהודה בן בתירא ממאי דביו"ט ראשון קאי דלמא ביו"ט אחרון קאי Rava continues: If one seeks to prove from that which Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira said in the second baraita, that the verse indicates that the counting is dependent upon the decision of the court, not an individual, this can too be refuted: From where does one know that it is referring to the first day of the Festival? Perhaps it is referring to the last day of the Festival, the seventh day of Passover?
ר' יוסי נמי חזי ליה פירכא והיינו דקאמר ועוד Rava concludes: The first proof cited by Rabbi Yosei was that if the counting starts the day after a regular Shabbat then it would be impossible to determine which Shabbat is meant. Rabbi Yosei himself saw that it is also subject to refutation, and this is why Rabbi Yosei continued and said: Furthermore, and suggested a second proof. As Rava declared, the last two proofs cited in the second baraita, the second proof provided by Rabbi Yosei and the proof of Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar, stand without refutation.
גופא אמר אביי מצוה למימני יומי ומצוה למימני שבועי רבנן דבי רב אשי מנו יומי ומנו שבועי אמימר מני יומי ולא מני שבועי אמר זכר למקדש הוא: § The Gemara analyzes the matter itself of Abaye’s statement cited in the course of the previous discussion. Abaye said: It is a mitzva to count days, and it is also a mitzva to count weeks. The Gemara notes that in fact the Sages of the study hall of Rav Ashi counted days and they also counted weeks. Ameimar counted days but not weeks. In explanation of his practice, Ameimar said: Since there is no longer an omer offering, the counting is performed only in commemoration of the Temple. Therefore, one does not need to be so scrupulous to count both days and weeks.
מתני׳ קצרוהו ונתנוהו בקופות הביאוהו לעזרה והיו מהבהבין אותו באור כדי לקיים בו מצות קלי דברי רבי מאיר וחכמים אומרים בקנים ובקולחות חובטין אותו כדי שלא יתמעך MISHNA: After they harvested the omer and placed it in the baskets, they brought it to the Temple courtyard. And they would singe in the fire the kernels of barley while they were still on the stalks, in order to fulfill the mitzva of parched grain, as it is written: “And if you bring a meal offering of first fruits to the Lord, you shall bring for the meal offering of your first fruits grain in the ear parched with fire” (Leviticus 2:14). This is the statement of Rabbi Meir. And the Rabbis say: Prior to parching the kernels, they would remove them from the stalks by beating them with soft, moist reeds and with cabbage stalks, not with sticks, so that the kernels would not be crushed.
נתנוהו לאבוב ואבוב היה מנוקב כדי שיהא האור שולט בכולו שטחוהו בעזרה והרוח מנשבת בו נתנוהו לריחים של גרוסות והוציאו ממנו עשרון שהוא מנופה בשלש עשרה נפה והשאר נפדה ונאכל לכל אדם וחייב בחלה ופטור מן המעשר ר' עקיבא מחייב בחלה ובמעשרות: They then placed the grain into a hollow vessel [le’abuv], and this vessel was perforated so that the fire would take hold of the grain in its entirety. After parching the kernels, they would spread the kernels in the Temple courtyard and the wind would blow upon the kernels, cooling and drying them. They then placed the kernels in a mill used to grind grits, so that the barley would not be ground so fine that the shell would be mixed with the grain. And they produced from the ground barley a tenth of an ephah of barley flour that was sifted through thirteen sifters, and the rest is redeemed and may be eaten by any person. And dough from this barley flour is obligated in the separation of ḥalla, and the grain is exempt from the separation of tithe. Rabbi Akiva deems this flour obligated in having ḥalla and tithes separated from it.
גמ׳ תנו רבנן אביב זה אביב קלוי באש מלמד שהיו ישראל מהבהבין אותו באש כדי לקיים בו מצות קלי דברי ר' מאיר וחכמים אומרים GEMARA: The mishna cited a disagreement between Rabbi Meir and the Rabbis as to whether the barley kernels were first singed while they were in their stalks or only after they were beaten and removed from their stalks, when they were placed in a hollow vessel. The Sages taught in a baraita with regard to the verse: “And if you bring a meal offering of first fruits to the Lord, you shall bring for the meal offering of your first fruits grain in the ear parched with fire, even groats of the fresh ear” (Leviticus 2:14). “Grain in the ear”; this is a reference to the grain, i.e., the barley kernel. “Parched [kalui] with fire”; this teaches that the Jewish people would singe it in fire, in order to fulfill the mitzva of bringing parched grain. This is the statement of Rabbi Meir. And the Rabbis say: