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From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 19:11:21 -0400 Subject: IN vs TOWARDS the OMER A few years ago I was priveleged to hear from the Rav, Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchick, why in counting the Omer we use cardinal numbers(e.g. today is 8 days in the Omer) vs ordinal numbers (today is the 8th day in the omer). The Rav explained that the underlying conceptual issue is whether there is one mitzvah to count a group of 49 days(and hence we would count 1st, 2nd, 3rd...) or whether there is a separate Mitzvoh to count each night (and hence we would count "today is 8 days.." "today is 7 days..." etc since each night is a separate Mitzvoh without required connection to the preceding night). I have been searching for a similar succinct conceptual explanation for the two versions of counting: "Today is 8 days IN the Omer" vs "Today is 8 days TOWARDS the Omer." The question was intensified to me recently when I reminded myself of the statement by the Radack in the Book of (Grammatical) Roots that the Hebrew Prepositions "IN" and "TOWARDS" often interchange in meaning in Biblical Hebrew. Another reason I am asking is because I traditionally count in English (i.e. I say the blessing in Hebrew, but (using my own reasoning) I count in the language I feel most comfortable "to count in"--which is English). Can anyone provide a succinct conceptual difference between the TO and TOWARDS version. Russell Jay Hendel, Ph.d,ASA::rhendel @ mcs drexel edu