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by Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Megilah 2

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!


(a) The Megilah is never read before the 11th nor after the 15th (of Adar).
(b) Villagers read on the last Monday or Thursday before or on the 14th.
(c) (Unwalled) city dwellers read on the 14th, except when the 14th falls on Shabbos, in which case they read on Thursday.
(d) Residents of walled cities read on the 15th, except when the 15th falls on Shabbos, in which case they read on Friday.
(a) Question: What is the source that villagers read early?
(b) Answer: They need not read early, they are just permitted to read early!
(c) Clarification of Question: If Anshei Kneses ha'Gedolah decreed that all must read on the 14th or 15th, how can later Sages uproot this?
1. Mishnah) Only a greater body of sages can overturn a decree!
(d) Answer: Anshei Kneses ha'Gedolah themselves enacted all these days.
1. (R. Shemen Bar Aba): This is hinted at by the verse "in their times".
i. Question: There is nothing extra in this verse to teach this!
ii. Answer: If so, the verse should have said "Zeman". Instead, it says "B'zmaneihem" so we should learn from it.
iii. Question: We need this to learn than one who should read on the 14th may not read on the 15th, or vice-versa!
iv. Answer: If the verse came to teach only one thing, it would have said "Zemanam"; "B'zmaneihem" teaches 2 things.
v. Question: Let us learn that even more days are allowed!
vi. Answer: The extra days are like the primary days, i.e. there are 2.
vii. Question: We should say that 12 and 13 are the extra days!
viii.Answer: The main miracle - the war - was on the 13th, we know the 13th without the verse.
ix. Question: Why not say we include the 16th and 17th?
x. Answer: The verse says "do not pass over" (the times for reading).
2. (R. Shmuel Bar Nachmani): The verse "As the days that they rested" shows that we may read on the 11th and 12th.
i. Questions and Answers 2.vii-x are repeated verbatim.
ii. Question: Why didn't R. Shmuel learn from "B'zmaneihem"?
iii. Answer: He says that the change of language does not warrant learning as R. Shemen learns.
iv. Question: Why didn't R. Shemen Bar Aba learn from "As the days"?
v. Answer: He says that those words teach that the Mitzvah applies in future generations.
(a) Rabah Bar Bar Chanah): Our Mishnah is like R. Akiva; Chachamim say that we may only read on the 14th and 15th.
(b) Question(Beraisa): R. Yehudah says the extra days are allowed only when the years are proper and the Jews are in Eretz Yisrael.
1. R. Akiva did not qualify when the extra days are allowed.
2. If so, R. Yehudah must hold like Chachamim - and he permits extra days - refutation!
(c) Alternate version of Rabah Bar Bar Chanah: Our Mishnah is like R. Akiva; Chachamim say that today, when people look to the day of the reading, we only read in the primary time.
(d) Support (Beraisa ): R. Yehudah says that the extra days are allowed only when the years are proper and the Jews are in Eretz Yisrael, not today when people look to the day of the reading.
(e) Question (Rav Ashi): R. Yehudah said otherwise in a different Beraisa : Villagers may only read early in places where they enter the cities on Mondays and Thursdays - apparently, even today!

(f) Answer (Rav Ashi): The Tana of the previous Beraisa is R. Yosi Bar Yehudah.
(g) Question: A difficulty is no reason to say that a different Tana taught the Beraisa !
i) Answer: Rav Ashi had heard that some attribute the previous Beraisa to R. Yosi Bar Yehudah.
(a) Question: What is the source of this law?
(b) Answer: (Rava) The verse says that "open city dwellers" celebrate the 14th - we deduce, walled-city dwellers celebrate the 15th.
(c) Question: Why not say that walled cities do not celebrate at all?
(d) Answer: Are they not Jewish (of course, all Jews should celebrate)!
1. Answer #2 (verse): "from Hodu until Kush" (i.e. the entire world).
(e) Question: Say that walled cities must celebrate both!
1. strengthening of question - (verse):"the day of the 14th and the day of the 15th"!
(f) Answer: The word "V'es" teaches that these read on the 14th, and these on the 15th.
(g) Question: Let us say that walled cities may read on either day!
(h) Answer (verse): "B'zmaneihem" - the time of these is not the time of these.
(i) Question: Let us say that walled cities read on the 13th!
(j) Answer: We learn from Shushan (which the Megilah says celebrates the 15th).
(k) Question: How do we know that this is the proper day to read the Megilah?
1. The verses only teach on which day to make a festive meal and Yom Tov!
(l) Answer (verse): "the days are remembered and made", we equate remembering (reading) with making a festive meal and Yom Tov.
(a) Our Mishnah is unlike the Tana of this Beraisa : R. Yehoshua Ben Karchah says that cities surrounded by a wall from the time of Achashverosh read on the 15th.
(b) Question: What is his reason?
(c) Answer: We learn from Shushan, which was surrounded by a wall from the time of Achashverosh.
(d) Question: What is the reason of the Tana of our Mishnah?
(e) Answer: Gezerah Shaveh (Prazi-Prazi), we learn from the cities of Sichon and Og.
1. R. Yehoshua Ben Karchah did not learn as our Tana, since he had no tradition for the Gezerah Shaveh.
2. Question: Why didn't our Tana learn as R. Yehoshua Ben Karchah?
3. Answer: As we said, he learns a Gezerah Shaveh!
4. (Clarification of question): According to our Tana, Shushan should celebrate the 14th!
5. Answer: Shushan is special, since the miracle was in Shushan.
(f) (Verse) Every county and county, every city and city.
1. Our Tana learns that "county and county" distinguishes between walled cities from the time of Yehoshua Bin Nun and those surrounded by a wall afterwards.
2. "city and city" distinguishes between Shushan and all other cities not surrounded by a wall from the time of Yehoshua Bin Nun.
3. R. Yehoshua Ben Karchah can similarly learn that "county and county" distinguishes between walled cities from the time of Achashverosh and those surrounded by a wall afterwards.
4. Question: What can he learn from "city and city"?
i. Counter-Question: Our Tana also does not need to learn from this, since he has a Gezerah Shaveh!
5. Answer: Both Tanaim must learn that it comes to teach the following law:
6. (R. Yehoshua Ben Levi): Everything that is close to and can see a walled city has the law of the walled city.
i. Question: What is considered close?
ii. Answer: (R. Yirmiyah) As from Chamsan to Teveryah, 1 Mil.
iii. Question: Say simply, 1 Mil!
iv. Answer: He wanted to teach us the size of a Mil.
(g) R. Yirmiyah): Prophets taught the 5 final-letters of the Aleph-Beis.
1. Question (verse): "These are the mitzvos" - prophets cannot make any changes!
2. Another Question: (Rav Chisdah) The final "Mem" and "Samech" stood miraculously on the Tablets (so we see, the final letters were given to Moshe)!
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