THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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MEGILAH 2-5 (Elul 27-Rosh Hashanah 5760) - have been dedicated by Dr. Jack
and Sarah Dimenstein of Zurich Switzerland. May they be blessed with a year
of health and prosperity, physical and spiritual!
1) READING THE MEGILAH BY ONESELF
QUESTION: The Gemara records a Machlokes between Rav and Rav Asi whether the
Megilah must be read b'Asarah (with at least ten people) or whether it may be
read b'Yachid (by oneself). Rav says that when the Megilah is read "b'Zmano,"
on its proper day (the fourteenth of Adar), it may be read b'Yachid. Rav Asi
says that it must be read b'Asarah, with ten people, whether it is read
b'Zmano or not b'Zmano.
2) HALACHAH: "PURIM MESHULASH" -- PURIM THAT FALLS ON SHABBOS
The Gemara says that Rav was stringent and conducted himself like Rav Asi by
gathering ten people for the reading of the Megilah b'Zmano.
The Gemara then challenges Rav's original ruling and asks, "Did Rav say this
(that when the reading of the Megilah is no b'Zmano, it must be read with ten
people)? But Rav said, 'When Purim occurs on Shabbos, Erev Shabbos is
considered to be b'Zmano, the time for reading the Megilah,' which must mean
that just like the Megilah may be read b'Yachid when it is read b'Zmano, so,
too, it may be read b'Yachid when it is not read b'Zmano, such as when Purim
occurs on Shabbos and the Megilah is read Erev Shabbos. This contradicts
Rav's first statement, that when the Megilah is not read b'Zmano, it must be
read with ten people.
Commenting on Rav's original statement, RASHI explains why the Megilah may be
read b'Yachid when it is b'Zmano. He says that since, b'Zmano, everyone is
reading the Megilah, there is Pirsumei Nisa even when an individual reads it
by himself at home. When the Megilah is not read b'Zmano, not everyone is
reading the Megilah, but only the villages who are entitled to read it on the
Yom ha'Kenisah, in which case there is only Pirsumei Nisa if it is read with
According to Rashi, when Purim occurs on Shabbos, *everyone* reads the
Megilah on Erev Shabbos, and thus it should be considered "b'Zmano" and even
an individual should be able to read it b'Yachid! What, then, is the Gemara's
question on Rav from his statement that if Purim occurs on Shabbos, the
Megilah may be read b'Yachid on Erev Shabbos? It is not a contradiction to
his first statement; on the contrary, it supports his first statement!
What is the Gemara's question according to Rashi's logic? (TUREI EVEN and
(a) The SEFAS EMES and CHIDUSHIM U'VI'URIM explain that Rashi understood the
Gemara differently. He learned that when the Gemara says that Rav took into
consideration Rav Asi's opinion and read the Megilah b'Zmano with ten people,
it does not mean that he was just conducting himself stringently. Rather, it
means that he *changed his mind* and he held like Rav Asi.
Accordingly, the Gemara is asking a question on that statement and is asking
whether Rav really changed his mind. Since Rav said that when Purim occurs on
Shabbos and the Megilah is read on Erev Shabbos, it may be read even
b'Yachid, that shows that he holds that *b'Zmano*, the Megilah may be read
b'Yachid (since everyone is reading it on that day and there is Pirsumei
Nisa). If so, he did not change his mind!
[According to this explanation, Rashi must have had the words "u'Mi *Avad*
Rav Hachi" ("Did Rav *do* this," i.e. conduct himself in accordance with Rav
Asi), instead of "u'Mi *Amar* Rav Hachi" ("Did Rav *say* this," i.e. his
According to this understanding of the Gemara, the Halachah will be like Rav
Asi, because Rav changed his mind and conducted himself like Rav Asi. Thus,
even b'Zmano, the Megilah must be read with ten people.
(b) Other Rishonim (such as the RAN) argue with Rashi and say that even when
Purim falls on Shabbos and we read the Megilah on Erev Shabbos, it is
considered *not* b'Zmano, and thus the Gemara is asking a question on Rav's
original statement. What, then, is the logic of Rav that the Megilah may be
read b'Yachid when it is b'Zmano?
The TUREI EVEN explains that when Purim occurs on Shabbos and the reading of
the Megilah is moved to Erev Shabbos, the Mitzvah of Simchah is observed on
Purim itself, on Shabbos. Normally, when there is Simchah on the day of the
fourteenth of Adar, that celebration causes Pirsumei Nisa, and thus there is
Pirsumei Nisa even when an individual reads the Megilah b'Yachid. However,
when the Simchah is observed on a day other than the day of reading the
Megilah (such as when Purim falls on Shabbos), then there is no Pirsumei Nisa
when reading the Megilah unless the Megilah is read publicly, with at least
OPINIONS: The Gemara says that when the Megilah is read earlier than the
actual day of Purim (such as on the Yom ha'Kenisah for the small villages),
the Mitzvah of Simchah (that is, the Se'udah) is still observed on the
fourteenth of Adar. What happens, though, when Purim occurs on Shabbos? The
Megilah is read the day before, as it says in the Mishnah. When, though, are
the other Mitzvos of Purim observed, such as the Mitzvah of the Se'udah?
(This is not a practically relevant question for most cities, because Purim
(the fourteenth of Adar) can never occur on Shabbos according to our
calendar. However, in walled cities, such as Yerushalayim, this question is
relevant, because there Purim is observed on the fifteenth of Adar, and the
fifteenth *can* occur on Shabbos. The last time this happened was Purim of
5757 (1997). The next time that this will occur will be in 5761 (2001).)
3) THE REASON FOR DELAYING "ZMAN ATZEI KOHANIM VEHA'AM"
(a) The RIF cites from the TOSEFTA which adds to our Mishnah. Our Mishnah
says that certain Mitzvos of the year, when their day falls on Shabbos, are
made earlier, and are not pushed off until after Shabbos. One such Mitzvah is
that of Se'udas Purim. The RAN adds from the YERUSHALMI that the Se'udas
Purim cannot be observed on Shabbos, because the Simchah of Se'udas Purim has
to be independent of any other Simchah; the Se'udah may only be on a day on
which there is Simchah only because of Purim. According to this, the Se'udas
Purim will be observed on Sunday, the sixteenth of Adar.
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 688:7) records the opinion of the RAN, that
we make the Se'udah on *Sunday*. We read the Megilah, and give Matanos
l'Evyonim, on Friday. "Al ha'Nisim" and the Torah reading of Purim are said
on Shabbos, the fourteenth of Adar (BEIS YOSEF). When Purim occurs on
Shabbos, it is called "Purim Meshulash," since it spans three days.
How can the Yerushalmi say to make the Se'udah of Purim on the sixteenth of
Adar? The verse says, "v'Lo Ya'avor"(Esther 9:27), from which the Gemara (2a)
learns that the observance of Purim -- while it may be observed earlier, may
not be delayed past the fifteenth of Adar. The verse is referring to the
Mitzvos of Purim ("Asiyah"), such as Mishlo'ach Manos, Matanos l'Evyonim, and
the Se'udah. How, then, can the Yerushalmi say that the Se'udah be celebrated
on Sunday, the sixteenth?
The RAN explains that "v'Lo Ya'avor" is not referring to the Se'udah and to
all of the other Mitzvos of Purim. Rather, that verse refers to the words
from which the Gemara (2a) derives that we may read the Megilah two days
other than the fourteenth and the fifteenth. We know that when the Megilah is
read early (such as on the Yom ha'Kenisah for small villages), only the
reading of the Megilah is done on an earlier day, but not the Se'udah. Hence,
"v'Lo Ya'avor" was said only with reference to the reading of the Megilah.
(b) The RAN (and Ritva) cite the RE'AH who explains the Yerushalmi
differently. The Yerushalmi cannot mean that the Se'udah is observed on the
sixteenth of Adar, because the verse says, "v'Lo Ya'avor." Rather, the
Yerushalmi means that we delay the Se'udah of Purim until after *the reading
of the Megilah* of the people living in small villages. That is, they do not
celebrate the Simchah of Purim on the day they read the Megilah, but later,
on the fourteenth of Adar, when everyone else does.
The obligation of Simchah comes after a person has heard the Megilah. Hence,
according to the Re'ah, when Purim occurs on Shabbos, we make the Se'udah on
The Ran rejects this explanation because it does not fit well with the words
of the Yerushalmi.
(c) The MAHARALBACH (#32) writes that our Gemara argues with the Yerushalmi
and holds that the Simchah of Purim may be celebrated on Shabbos, because
Simchah is always celebrated in its proper time. He proves this from the
Gemara later (30a), which implies that when Purim occurs on Shabbos, the
Se'udah of Purim is made on Shabbos.
Regarding the Mitzvah of Mishlo'ach Manos, the Acharonim argue whether it
should be done on Sunday, because it is part of the Se'udah, or on Shabbos,
because that is the real day of Purim. Because of this doubt, we are
stringent and do the Mitzvah of Mishlo'ach Manos on both Shabbos and Sunday.
QUESTION: The Mishnah lists the events which are push off for a day if their
dates fall on Shabbos -- "Zman Atzei Kohanim veha'Am, Tisha b'Av, Chagigah,
and Hakhel," since those things cannot be done on Shabbos.
The Gemara explains that the reason why Tisha b'Av is pushed off for a day,
and not observed on the day before Shabbos, because it is a day of mourning
and tragedy, and thus such a delay is delayed and not observed earlier. The
Gemara also explains why Chagigah and Hakhel are delayed a day and not
observed on the day before Shabbos -- the time of their obligation has not
yet arrived before Shabbos.
The Gemara, however, does not give a reason why Zman Atzei Kohanim is pushed
off. Those were days observed as a Yom Tov by families who donated the wood
for the Mizbe'ach. Certain families donated wood for burning sacrifices when
the second Beis ha'Mikdash was built and wood was needed. In recognition of
the Mitzvah they did at the time, those families and their descendants were
granted the privilege of bringing wood to the Beis ha'Mikdash at certain
appointed times during the year. (They could not bring their wood on Shabbos
because certain Korbanos which are not Docheh Shabbos were brought at the
time they donated their wood, see Background to the Daf.)
Why does the Gemara not discuss that event?
ANSWER: The RAN and RASHI on the Rif explain that there is no need to discuss
it -- the reason it is pushed off is obvious. Each group brought enough wood
to last until the next group brought their wood. If the new group's day
occurred on Shabbos, they could not start bringing wood a day earlier,
because the previous group was granted the privilege of bringing wood for
that day. They cannot infringe on someone else's day just because their day
fell out on Shabbos.
The previous group, though, is not infringing on the next group's day by
bringing the wood for Shabbos, because had they not brought the wood for
Shabbos, no one would have brought it. Therefore, the new group brings the
wood only on Sunday.
4) THE PROHIBITION OF MELACHAH ON PURIM
The Gemara says that originally, the Chachamim enacted that Purim be observed
as a Yom Tov, even with regard to the prohibition of doing Melachah.
Subsequently, though, the people did not accept this enactment, and therefore
it is permitted to do Melachah on Purim.
RAV YITZCHAK HUTNER (Pachad Yitzchak) explains why the Isur of Melachah on
Purim was not accepted, based on the VILNA GA'ON's explanation of the Yomim
Tovim of Chanukah and Purim (printed in LIKUTEI HA'GRA, p. 307 of the 1889
edition). The Vilna Ga'on asks why is it that on Purim, which is a Yom Tov
d'Rabanan, we are especially happy and are Marbeh b'Simchah and there is a
special Mitzvah to make a Se'udah, more so than on any other Yom Tov, and yet
at the same time we do not recite Hallel on Purim (see 14a). On Chanukah,
though, it is the opposite -- we are obligated to say Hallel, but there is no
obligation to have a Se'udah!
The Vilna Ga'on explains as follows. There are eighteen days of Yom Tov
mid'Oraisa: seven days of Pesach, seven days of Sukos, Shemini Atzeres,
Shavuos, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kipur. On eight of those day we do not say
Hallel: 8 of those days we do not say Hallel -- the last six days of Pesach,
Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kipur.
The Chachamim established Yomim Tovim d'Rabanan to make up for those eight
days on which there is no Hallel. Those new days of Yomim Tovim are the eight
days of Chanukah, on which we say Hallel to make up for the Yomim Tovim
d'Oraisa on which we do not say Hallel! Since those eight Yomim Tovim
d'Oraisa have an obligation of Simchah and Se'udah, the Chachamim did not
need to enact a Se'udah on Chanukah. Hence, they enacted an obligation to say
Hallel without an obligation to have a Se'udah.
Besides the eight days d'Oraisa that are lacking Hallel, one of the Yomim
Tovim d'Oraisa is also lacking a Se'udah and Simchah -- Yom Kipur. The
Chachamim made up for that missing Se'udah element by instituting Purim! Yom
Kipur is the day of the greatest Simchah (Megilah, 26b), and thus the
Chachamim established that the Yom Tov of Purim have more Simchah than any
other Yom Tov, since it corresponds to Yom Kipur. Moreover, Hashem forgave
the Jewish people for the sin of the Egel ha'Zahav on Yom Kipur and gave them
the second set of Luchos. Similarly, on Purim, the Jewish people re-accepted
the Torah ("Kiyemu v'Kiblu"), and thus it is an appropriate day to make up
for the Simchah of Yom Kipur.
Rav Hutner suggests that this explains why there is no Isur of Melachah on
Purim. There was no reason to enact an Isur Melachah, because all of the
Yomim Tovim d'Oraisa have an Isur Melachah and thus no Isur Melachah is
missing that would have to be made up on Purim.
Rav Hutner does not explain, though, why they *did* observe the Isur Melachah
the first year. It could be that in the first year, the people celebrated not
only for the miracle, but for the personal salvation that they experienced.
One who celebrates a personal salvation brings a Korban Todah. Even though
there was no Korbanos yet at the time of Purim, because the Beis ha'Mikdash
had not yet been rebuilt, the people wanted to act in the way that one who
brings a Korban Todah acts. One who brings a personal Korban treats that day
as a Yom Tov and does not do Melachah (Tosfos, Pesachim 50a), and therefore
the people in the first year did not do Melachah on Purim! (M. Kornfeld)