As today we have reached the 48th day of the counting of the omer,
tomorrow will be the 49th day. However, what will be with Shavuos - will we count it as the fiftieth day?
According to the Torah (Lev. 23.16), the commandment seems to imply that we should count fifty days. Although one could then say, "Oh, that's just the Torah. The rabbis surely must have cut it down to counting only 49 days like we do nowadays." However, Rabbi Yose, son of Rabbi Yehudah said that we are supposed to specifically count 50 days! Furthermore, no one in the Talmud - either tanna or amora - disagrees with him.
So far, the score is Torah & rabbis both going for 50 days and no one for 49.
However, Tosafos in Menahos says that they count 49 days, so how come the Talmud says 50? What's trememendously interesting here is the primacy Tosafos gives ongoing practice over prescribed law. While Rosh tosses Tosafos two suggestions in favor of another possibility, it's still a befuddlement to me why we count only 49 and not 50 days. While I have prepared a sheet (in Word format) for a presentation on Shavuos night at shul on this topic, I was wondering how come in between late antiquity and the early medieval period people stopped counting the fiftieth day? Is it maybe because the fiftieth day is to be counted on the holiday of Shavuos and at some point the counting got dropped from the liturgy? Anybody?
Tags: Omer, Counting of the Omer, Shavuot, Shavuos, Fiftieth day of the Omer, Sefiras haomer, sefirat haomer, sefirah