By: Rabbi Ari Enkin
As a general rule, one who has forgotten to count the omer on a given night is able to rectify the omission by counting any time during the following day, though the accompanying blessing may not be recited. Once one has counted the missed "omer" during the day, one is then permitted to resume counting the omer on consecutive nights along with the accompanying blessing. However, one who missed an entire day in the count (i.e. one forgot to count at night or any time during the following day) is still required to continuing counting the remaining days of sefira, however, the accompanying blessing may not be recited.
It once happened in Izmir, Turkey, that a pious individual had fallen asleep one night before having counted the omer. As this man was sleeping, he realized in his dreams that he had forgotten to count the omer that night and thus did so in his dream! The next morning the man forgot about his dream, his "missed" count, and did not even remember to count the omer anytime during the day.
Click here to read moreIt once happened in Izmir, Turkey, that a pious individual had fallen asleep one night before having counted the omer. As this man was sleeping, he realized in his dreams that he had forgotten to count the omer that night and thus did so in his dream! The next morning the man forgot about his dream, his "missed" count, and did not even remember to count the omer anytime during the day. At ma'ariv the following night the man realized what had happened – that he had forgotten to count the night before – but did so during his dream – but did not count again during the day. This person was know faced with a dilemma – was he permitted to continue counting the omer with the accompanying blessing by virtue of having counted in his dream, or is the fact that he did not do so while awake any time during the day cause him to forfeit the ability to recite the blessing?
This question was posed to the Rabbi of Izmir, the legendary Rabbi Chaim Palagi. The rabbi ruled that this individual was no longer permitted to recite the sefirat ha'omer blessing as the count he had done in his dream was halachically inadmissible. His ruling was based on a Talmudic precedent which teaches that one who had heard the Purim megilla while drowsy or dozy had nevertheless discharged the mitzvah of megilla. However, one who had been fully asleep would not have discharged his obligation.
Rabbi Palagi extends this idea and rules that mitzvot, particularly those dependant on hearing or speaking, cannot be fulfilled while asleep. In fact, to emphasize that counting of the omer in a dream is meaningless, Rabbi Palagi added that if our dreamer would have woken up immediately following his dream he would have been able to count "again" along with the accompanying blessing.
I got somewhat excited when I saw this discussion as I had once figured out a Tosfot in a dream. I had been working on a certain Tosfot for quite some time, never having gotten it entirely. My Rebbe, Rabbi Moshe Furst (from my Toronto days) tried explaining it to me, but even with his clear explanation it just didn’t "click". That night I had a dream in which I was reviewing the Rebbe's explanation over and over, when –in my dream- it finally clicked! In fact, when I woke up I remembered the dream, the explanation, and indeed – I had the Tosfot down cold.
I wonder now if I was yotzai the mitzvah of Torah study in this dream. According to those authorities who rule that one fulfills the mitzva of Talmud Torah even by merely reading or thinking about Torah (as opposed to those authorities who require one to audibly recite the words one is studying) the answer is probably yes. It is not completely clear, from this teshuva at least, how Rabbi Palagi would rule.
 O.C. 489:7,8
 Lev Chaim 3:126, cited in Veharev Na;Shmini
 Megilla 18b
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
By: Rabbi Ari Enkin