# 3120 The Reason to Listen

Q. Our grandfather is living at an old age care facility due to his sensitive health status. We, his grandchildren take turns to visit him and a this time count Sefiras Haomer with him. But sometimes he barely repeats some of the words, does this count? Should we avoid saying a brocho?
A. On question 782 regarding someone counting for a chole who can’t speak, but is aware and just moves his lips, if he is yotze, we wrote: Shulchan Aruch (O.H. 489 :1) rules that it is a mitzvah for each individual to count sefiras haomer for himself. Mishna Berura (ibid. 5) explains that although from the verse “usfartem lachem” (You shall count for yourselves) it would seem that sefira is different from any other mitzvah of speech, such as kidush or havdala, where we uphold that listening to others is tantamount to saying oneself, (shomea keone) however, some Poskim opine that they are the same and after the fact you comply just by listening. In Biur Halocho (ibid.) quoting the Pri Megodim, he rules that even after the fact, it is better to repeat the sefira by himself without a brocho.
As far as the brocho is concerned, Poskim agree that as in any other brocho, we say shomea keone. Ma’ase Rav quotes Hagra who instituted that on the onset when praying with a minyan, one should recite the blessing for all present; subsequently each individual should count for himself.
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit”a opinion is that in the case of a frail and weak patient you can certainly be lenient and count for him even if he is unable to move his lips. When he recovers he can continue to count with a brocho. Obviously both have to have the intention of complying with the mitzva.
Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a added that the grandchild visiting his ailing grandfather, should on that night is possible wait to count together with his grandfather, so he will not recite a questionable brocho.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a

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