Travel Restrictions During Sefira

Are there any restrictions with traveling during the sefira period?

The Minchas Elazar (4:44) mentions a minhag that some people have not to travel during the sefira period and writes that there is no basis for this custom. Since people must have traveled between Pesach and Shavuos to Yerushalayim for aliyah le’regel, traveling must be permitted. The Minchas Elazar acknowledges that sefira has always been a time of judgement, which is why the students of Rabbi Akiva died during that period. However, he clarifies that even if someone would suggest that it is only permissible to travel for a mitzvah purpose, the definition of a mitzvah can be expanded to include many activities such as business or meeting a friend. This is based on the Rama in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim (248:4). Nevertheless, strictly speaking the Minchas Elazar sees no basis for this custom and he allows any form of travel during sefira, even if not to perform a mitzvah.

Questions regarding counting sefira when one travels over the International Date Line should be discussed with one’s Rav.


The Gerald & Karin Feldhamer OU Kosher Halacha Yomis is dedicated to the memory of Rav Yisroel Belsky, zt"l, who served as halachic consultant for OU Kosher for more than 28 years; many of the responses in Halacha Yomis are based on the rulings of Rabbi Belsky. Subscribe to the Halacha Yomis daily email here.